Dick Cheney should — and eventually will — be tried as a war criminal: former International Court judge

via Dick Cheney should — and eventually will — be tried as a war criminal: former International Court judge.

Oh, please, please, please…may I live long enough to see this happen.


Dick Cheney (Fox News)

Dick Cheney (Fox News)

The world’s most distinguished expert in international human rights law believes Dick Cheney should – and eventually will – stand trial for war crimes.

Thomas Buergenthal, who served as a judge at the International Court of Justice for the first 10 years of this century, said he believes the former U.S. vice president could be brought before the International Criminal Court, reported Newsweek.

“Some of us have long thought that Cheney and a number of CIA agents who did what they did in those so-called black holes should appear before the ICC,” said Buergenthal, who survived the Auschwitz concentration camp as a boy.

The 81-year-old was born in the former Czechoslovakia but is now a U.S. citizen and a professor of law at George Washington University.

“We (Americans) could have tried them ourselves,” Buergenthal said. “I voted for Obama, but I think he made a great mistake when he decided not to instigate legal proceedings against some of these people. I think – yes – that it will happen.”

Buergenthal said he had no insight into whether former British Prime Minister Tony Blair might also face a war crimes tribunal for his role in the Iraq War, and he dismissed former President George W. Bush as insignificant.

“(Bush was) an ignorant person who wanted to show his mother he could do things his father couldn’t,” Buergenthal said.

He said Richard Nixon – under whom Cheney served in the early 1970s – would never have been stupid enough to start a war with Iraq.

“(Nixon was) more intelligent,” Buergenthal said. “I don’t think Nixon would have got involved in Iraq.”

Vote for TPP and I’ll Never Vote for You | RootsAction

Vote for TPP and I’ll Never Vote for You | RootsAction.

This is a petition from RootsAction to your Congressional Representative and Senators regarding the Trans Pacific Partnership.  To sign, which I hope you will, please follow the link directly above this paragraph.

Thank you…

Obama Rams Through TPP With Little Democratic Support, Even from Black Caucus | Black Agenda Report

via Obama Rams Through TPP With Little Democratic Support, Even from Black Caucus | Black Agenda Report.

Submitted by Glen Ford on Tue, 06/23/2015

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Every phony leftist that peddled Barack Obama as a “progressive,” and every knave and fool in “Progressives for Obama” that spread rose petals at his feet in 2008, should do penance through five years of silence. The First Black President positioned himself “at the far right wing of his own Democratic Party” to pass his TPP rigged trade treaty. Only three Black congresspersons, and 25 other Democrats, joined with Obama and his Republicans.

Obama Rams Through TPP With Little Democratic Support, Even from Black Caucus

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

“Obama delivered a crushing defeat to his own party, and to the health and welfare of all humanity.”

In the weeks before Barack Obama began his first term in office, we at Black Agenda Report described him as a center-right politician, based on the cast of characters he chose for his cabinet and his announcement that Social Security and all entitlement programs would be put on the chopping block under his presidency. Six and a half years later, Obama stands at the far right wing of his own Democratic Party, and – on issues of corporate domination – to the right of many Republicans.Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership treaty, the 21st century blueprint for global corporate rule, garnered only 28 Democratic votes in a showdown on Capitol Hill, last week. But, backed by 190 Republicans, and all the assets that Wall Street can muster, Obama delivered a crushing defeat to his own party, and to the health and welfare of all humanity. So rotten is the stench of TPP – a treaty so toxic it is a state secret – that only three members of the Congressional Black Caucus were willing to side with the First Black President.

The “Black TPP Three” are: Gregory Meeks, the corporate servant from Queens, New York; Terri Sewell, the sell-out who misrepresents Alabama’s Black Belt; and Eddie Bernice Johnson, the congresswoman from Texas who occupies a special place of shame, since she also voted in favor of the disastrous NAFTA treaty, 22 years ago.

Eddie Bernice Johnson, Recidivist

Back in 1993, Obama’s political mentor, Bill Clinton, crossed over the aisle to lead Republicans to victory over his fellow Democrats in the fight to pass NAFTA, the treaty with Canada and Mexico. Clinton got a much larger share of Democrats to go along with his jobs-killing bill, but most of the party still opposed the deal; 102 Democrats voted Yes, versus 156 that said No to NAFTA. Six members of the Congressional Black Caucus sided with Bill Clinton: Carrie Meek, of Florida; Mel Reynolds, from Chicago, who two years later was forced to resign after a conviction for statutory rape; William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson, the money-man from New Orleans who hid cash in his refrigerator; Floyd Flake, whose New York seat is now held by the thoroughly corrupted Gregory Meeks; Harold Ford, who went on to become George Bush’s favorite Black congressman; and Eddie Bernice Johnson, the only one of the six still in a position to betray more 700,000 of her constituents, in Dallas, Texas.

In the generation since passage of NAFTA, the Black economy has collapsed, largely due to the flight of manufacturing jobs to low wage foreign shores. On Barack Obama’s watch, Black wealth fell to one-twentieth of median white household wealth, making it statistically impossible for African Americans to ever hope to reach parity with whites, short of a revolution. TPP will hasten the pace of social and economic decline in the United States – the real legacy of Barack Hussein Obama.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted atGlen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.


$200 Million Went to House Members to Pass Fast Track – Here’s Who Took the Cash | Occupy.com

via $200 Million Went to House Members to Pass Fast Track – Here’s Who Took the Cash | Occupy.com.

TUE, 6/23/2015 – BY PAOLA CASALE

dropped many think our government is for sale. However, by taking a look at the facts below provided by Open Secrets, it is easy to understand where they are coming from.

Looking back at Friday the 12th, the House voted on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), the controversial bill that gives power to the executive branch to negotiate treaties. TPA limits Congress’ ability to better a trade deal by subjecting members of Congress to 90 days of reviewing the trade agreement, prohibiting any amendments on the implementing legislation, and giving them an up or down vote.

TPA passed with a mere 219-211 vote with only 218 needed to pass. The real shocker comes from the amount of money each Representative received for a yes vote. In total, $197,869,145 was given to Representatives for a yes vote where as $23,065,231 was given in opposition.

  • John Boehner (R-OH) received $5.3 million for a “yea” vote and was the highest paid legislator.
  • Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) received $2.4 million for his “yea” vote.
  • Paul Ryan (R-WI) received $2.4 million for a “yea” vote and came in at the third highest paid legislator.
  • Pat Tiberi (R-OH) follows Paul Ryan, coming in the fourth spot having received $1.6 million for his “yea” vote.

The fifth highest paid legislator is somewhat of a “hero” in comparison to others. Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD) received $1.6 million for a yes vote and only $282,710 for a no vote. Despite his high contribution from those in favor of TPA, he still voted a solid nay.

We also have other hero stories.

  • Joe Crowley (D-NY) received 1.3 million for a “yea” vote and only $72,550 for a “nay” vote and he still voted against TPA.
  • Patrick Murphy (D-FL) received 1.1 million for a “yea” vote and only $213,360 for a “nay” vote and still voted against it.
  • Richard Neal D(MA) received $1.1 million for a “yea” vote and a mere $47,625 for a “nay” vote and still voted against it.

Democrats are not the only heroes in this voting session. GOP members spoke very loud and clear.

  • Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) received $541,746 for a “yea” vote and no money at all for a “nay” vote and he still voted “nay!”
  • Andy Harris (R-MD) received $254,803 for a “yea” vote and no money at all for a “nay” vote and he still voted “nay”.
  • Thomas Massie (R-KY) received $250,328 for a “yea” vote and no money at all for a “nay” vote and he still voted “nay.”
  • Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) received $180,832 for a “yea” vote and no money at all for a “nay vote” and she still voted “nay.”

Where did this kind of money come from? Those in favor of TPA were security brokers and investment companies who donated a whopping $11.3 million dollars for a “yea” vote. Big banking companies donated $10.1 million dollars. In other words, Wall Street hashed out millions and millions of dollars to push for the passage of TPA.

Originally published by Op-Ed News

UK Doctors Warn TTIP Means Certain Death for Public Healthcare

via UK Doctors Warn TTIP Means Certain Death for Public Healthcare | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community.

Physicians say national health service faces lawsuits, bullying, and privatization under contentious trade pact

by Lauren McCauley, staff writer

With TTIP negotiations set to continue in July, doctors in the United Kingdom have vowed to fight the deal. (Photo: Alex Proimos/cc/flickr)

Doctors in the United Kingdom are warning that passage of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will mean certain death for the country’s public healthcare system, opening the door for privatization and lawsuits from the United States’ for-profit medical industry.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the British Medical Association (BMA) in Liverpool on Tuesday, Dr. Henry McKee of Belfast warned members that “if there is anything resembling an [National Health Service] by the time this treaty is in negotiation, it won’t survive this treaty.”

“The correct motion is to kill this treaty dead, not to tolerate it sneaking in and mugging us,” he added.

McKee’s comments came as BMA members voted in favor of lobbying the UK government against the trade agreement, advocating for a provision that would remove healthcare from the contentious pact. In a vote earlier this month, the European Parliament backed a similar recommendation though it is up to the official European trade negotiators to demand such exclusions.

The TTIP and other pending global trade deals—the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)—have come under fire for their corporate-friendly provisions, which many warn will promote business interests above the environment, workers rights, and public health. Particularly, the investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision would allow multinationals to sue governments for alleged loss of profits due to industry regulations.

In an address during the BMA meeting, Edinburgh physician Gregor Venters also warned that the “introduction of private providers into public services” will “allow the big American corporations to interfere with the NHS.”

Europeans are concerned that the United States’ lax rules regulation of genetically engineered, or GMO, crops and other lower health standards will allow for a “race to the bottom” in global food and health standards.

“Private corporations could use the process to bully governments into dropping legislation to improve food standards,” he explained.

In a related development, recently leaked sections of the TPP revealed how the deal would give big pharmaceutical companies more power over public access to medicine by undermining government efforts to subsidize pharmaceuticals and medical devices, effectively crippling public healthcare programs worldwide.

Earlier this month, faced with growing public and internal opposition, European Parliament President Martin Schulz cancelled a vote on the Parliament’s recommendations for the treaty. Negotiations are set to continue in July.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted to back Fast Track trade promotion authority, which enables President Obama to ratify international trade deals with only an up or down vote by the U.S. Congress, essentially guaranteeing the passage of the TPP and TTIP.


New evidence from 1967 war reveals Israeli atrocities | The Electronic Intifada

via New evidence from 1967 war reveals Israeli atrocities | The Electronic Intifada.

Ilan Pappe The Electronic Intifada 23 June 2015

Still from the film Censored Voices shows a former Israeli solider listening back to an interview, censored by the military after the 1967 war.  Noise Film PR

“In the operation we had to cleanse the inhabitants. This uprooting of a villager, rooted in his village and turning him into a refugee, by simply expelling him, and not one, two or three of them but a real eviction. And when you see a whole village is led like lambs to the slaughter without any resistance you understand what is the Holocaust.” — An Israeli soldier’s testimony in the documentary Censored Voices, directed by Mor Loushi (2015)

In the wake of the June 1967 war, the Israeli author Amos Oz, then a reserve soldier in the Israeli army, together with a friend collated interviews with Israeli soldiers who participated in the war and asked them about the emotions the fighting triggered in them. The interviews were published as a book titled Conversations with Soldiers, more popularly referred at the time by my generation as the ”shooting and crying” book.

The military censor (a function that still exists today, held recently by the present minister of culture, Miri Regev), erased 70 percent of the evidence since he claimed it would have harmed Israel’s international image.

This month an industrious Israeli filmmaker, Mor Loushi, is showing her new documentary based on most of this erased material. The atrocities reported by the soldiers include forced expulsions, like the one quoted above, graphic descriptions of summary executions of prisoners of war and hints of massacres of innocent villagers.

Evil repertoire

This 48th commemoration of the 1967 war coincided with the 67th commemoration of the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine before and after Israel’s founding in 1948. There is more than a symbolic connection here. The evil repertoire confessed by the soldiers in the new film reminds us of the atrocities perpetrated 67 years ago on a much larger, though similarly horrific, scale.

The 1948 atrocities were ignored by the international community and for a long time the entire Nakba was denied while the Holocaust memory seemed to provide carte blanche to Israel to continue the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

No wonder then, when in 1967 Israel’s territorial appetite was satisfied with the occupation of the whole of historic Palestine, as well as large territories from Egypt and Syria, it was achieved with the help of similar inhumane ethnic cleansing operations of expulsions and massacres.

There was one difference between the two chapters of atrocity committed in the two wars. In 1967, Israel was less secure about possible global, and even American, complacency in the face of its cruel methodologies on the ground and therefore attempted to hide them from prying eyes. The wall of secrecy Israel built, however, nearly cracked, when the US navy ship USS Liberty eavesdropped on the communications between the troops in the Gaza Strip on 8 June 1967, revealing probably both the summary execution of Egyptian prisoners of war and Palestinian civilians. The ship was destroyed on the same day from the air by the Israeli air force.

Later on, the atrocities were substantiated by eyewitnesses and came to the fore when mass graves were exposed in 1995 in the al-Arish area in Sinai, straining Egypt’s relations with Israel, as CNN reported at the time.

The network interviewed, for the first time, relatives and survivors of these war crimes who recalled the massacre of hundreds. The link between the unprovoked assault on the USS Liberty and the wish to hide the massacres and executions was thoroughly investigated by James Bamford in his 2001 book Body of Secrets.

Thus, the newly released tapes corroborate atrocities already known and told by those who were their victims (in this case, including 34 American navy personnel). This was very much in the same way as Israeli documents declassified in the 1980s corroborated the Palestinian oral history and testimonies of the Nakba.

Purifying the perpetrators

In both cases, it took a while for the victims’ version to be heard after years of being brushed aside by Western academia and the media as a figment of an oriental imagination.

The Israeli eyewitnesses in the new film do not mention names of places or dates — neither do we know who the Palestinian or Egyptian victims were. De-naming and dehumanization are two sides of the same coin and thus the new harrowing testimonies are cautiously presented as an act purifying the perpetrators rather than honoring the victims.

It is another case of “shooting and crying”: namely the problem is not that a girl lost her eye, a man’s house was demolished or an unarmed prisoner of war was executed. The aim is to cleanse the tormented soul of the victimizer and there is nothing like a good confession to make it all go away.

Names and dates, and even more so real human beings, require not only acknowledgement but also accountability. Saying sorry is not always enough, especially when the lesson is not learned. And, thus, year after year since 1967, including in recent weeks, Palestinians, with faces and names, are still expelled, imprisoned without trial and killed.

Permanent reality

This new film gives the impression that these crimes were the inevitable outcome of the June 1967 war. But in fact the crimes committed after the war were much worse in every aspect. The atrocities were not the outcome of the war, they were part of the means used by Israel to solve the predicament the new territorial achievement produced for the Jewish State: it incorporated in 1967 almost the same number of Palestinians it had expelled in 1948.

After the war, other means were added in the search for reconciling this predicament. The aim was still the same: to have as much of Palestine as possible with as few Palestinians in it as possible. The new strategy, after the war, was based on the logic that if you cannot uproot people you root them deeply in their areas of living without any outlet or easy access to the world around them.

The Palestinians all over Palestine were, since 1967, incarcerated in small enclaves surrounded by Jewish colonies, military bases and no-go areas that bisect their geography. In the occupied territories, Israel created a matrix of control many African National Congress leaders regard as far worse than the worst of apartheid South Africa. The Israelis marketed this method to the world as a temporary and necessary means for maintaining their rule in the “disputed” territories. The “temporary” means became a way of life and transformed into a permanent reality on the ground, for which Israel sought international legitimacy through the 1993 Oslo accords – and nearly got it.

This month as we commemorate the 48th year of the 1967, war we should remind ourselves once more that this was a chapter in a history of dispossession, ethnic cleansing and occasionally genocide of the Palestinians.

The “peace process” that began more than two decades ago was based on the assumption that the “conflict” began in 1967 and will end with Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The “conflict” had actually begun in 1948, if not before, and the worst part of it was not the 1967 military occupation of those parts of Palestine that Israel had failed to take over in 1948, but rather that the international immunity for these crimes still continues today.

One can only hope that those with the power to effect change in the world will understand, as did the soldier quoted in the opening of this piece, that there is more than one holocaust and that everyone, regardless of their religion or nationality, can be either its victim or its perpetrator.

The author of numerous books, Ilan Pappe is professor of history and director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter.


Europe wants Greece to suffer: The truth about the never-ending financial crisis & the cult of extreme austerity – Salon.com

via Europe wants Greece to suffer: The truth about the never-ending financial crisis & the cult of extreme austerity – Salon.com.

TUESDAY, JUN 23, 2015

Greece’s financial nightmare has lasted five years now. There’s no sign of real relief—for a very specific reason


Europe wants Greece to suffer: The truth about the never-ending financial crisis & the cult of extreme austerity

(Credit: AP/Yorgos Karahalis)

For someone who writes about economics, the situation in Greece offers two enticing elements: the ability to spin out moments of high drama, and the probability it will endlessly repeat forever. We’ve experienced five years (really, here’s one of my first stories on Greece, from April 2010) of wondering whether the deeply indebted country will exit the euro or submit to more painful conditions from its European creditors. Two governments – the center-right and the center-left – took the latter option, and paid dearly for it. Now the far-left Syriza appears poised to do the same, after delivering a new proposal to unlock bailout funds.

 Meanwhile, the prospects for ordinary Greek citizens never changes, adding a nightmarish “Groundhog Day” touch to the proceedings. Regardless of whether the country is spiraling into near-default or praising a debt deal, unemployment hasremained over 25 percent for the past three years. Half a decade into the Great Depression, there was at least some semblance of a brighter day; in Greece there are only gradations of misery. And what could break this terrible cycle is the only thing the political system and the public imagination cannot seem to contemplate: leaving the euro.

What has been happening in Greece has been a long exercise in sadism by European elites, who care only about keeping their political project alive, regardless of how those who must deal with the consequences are affected. Three governments ago, Greece rang up a series of debts that they have no practical ability to pay back. The structure of the eurozone, 19 countries sharing a common currency, encouraged this debt buildup, which manifested through capital flows from the wealthier north to the southern periphery. With a single currency, investors chased higher returns in countries where capital was scarcer; this was part of the core euro design. When the investors pulled out and the debts came due, the northern states, led by Germany, pretended this didn’t happen and demanded their money back.

The European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – the “troika” for short – forced Greece and other debtor nations into a bailout program, where they would run budget surpluses, even in the midst of a depression, and repay debts over the long-term. But the troika had another mission. They wanted to suck the oxygen out of any anti-austerity movement in Europe, and knuckle every country under their dictates. Therefore, the troika’s entire goal with Syriza, who entered office in January, has been not only to grant them concessions in negotiations, but to directly humiliate them and force them into a series of bad choices, as a lesson to all other Eurozone countries.

The latest proposal from Syriza, after months of delays and rejections, reflects this forced grovel. The government, which faces default if they don’t pay the IMF 1.6 billion euro by the end of the month, has committed to higher contributions for their pension plan, including from retirees. They will significantly ramp up their value-added tax (VAT), which acts like a sales tax, hitting those of modest means the hardest. Because Syriza didn’t cut pension payouts any further, and maintained the same VAT for selected items, they are claiming that they didn’t cross any of their red lines.

But despite some modest tax increases on corporate profits and luxury yachts, the bottom line is that Syriza agreed to future austerity measures indefinitely. Under the plan, they would maintain a budgetary surplus at 1 percent of gross domestic product for 2015. The surplus would steadily rise to 2 percent next year, 3 percent in 2017 and as high as 3.5 percent by 2018, as a condition for getting their bailout funds. It’s possible that these targets are “made to be missed,” as writer Daniel Davies puts it. And the surplus for 2015, at least, is less than first proposed. But since conditions have worsened in Greece since negotiations began in February, and the current budget deficit is higher, they’re still assenting to the same level of budget cuts to hit the target. And this is before the troika tweaks the deal more to their liking.

This was the goal, to keep Greece impoverished, to punish them for their sins, as if we were talking about a morality play and not a country of 10.8 million people. And even if the troika agrees to the Syriza proposal, which looks more likely, it would only unlock the remainder of funds under the current bailout, buying at most six months of time until the next crisis point.

Syriza had no real hand to play in the negotiations. They don’t have the luxury of their own currency, so they could not inflate their way out of debt. The eurozone leadership spent the last five years fireproofing their institutions to limit the effects of a Greek exit. European banks are now not exposed to Greece, and Germany believes Greece’s expulsion would only cost them a pittance. That obliterated Syriza’s leverage. The troika obviously still care about Greece staying in the eurozone, or they wouldn’t keep negotiating. They desire a united Europe, transforming the continent from its war-torn past. But that’s not enough to get Greece a decent deal.

Greek citizens have marched against austerity for years, but they don’t seem quite ready to go back to the drachma, and lose the perceived prestige they think the eurozone provides. There’s even a “pro-Europe” demonstration movement in the country. Syriza finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has said that leaving the euro would send Greece back to the Neolithic Age. And in the short-term, there is fear that theEuropean Central Bank would let go of their lifeline for the Greek banking system. In fact, the European Central Bank’s dark threats of an “uncontrollable crisis” without a deal provoked a bank run and backed Syriza further into a corner.

A lockout from international credit markets would paralyze the country’s economy in the immediate term. But the economy is already paralyzed, and if in control of its own currency, Greece could actually devalue and make its exports attractive to the world (particularly its cheap tourism), thereby beginning to dig out.

The reaction from elites about this prospect is ably shown in this Op-Ed by Larry Summers, who calls anything but Greece knuckling under to austerity a catastrophe. Give the Greeks a little debt relief so they can slash pensions and raise taxes on the poor, and everything will work out. In that sense, the debate over Greece resembles the debate in America over trade policy. There is no alternative to the current system, and anyone who messes with the natural order of things threatens disaster: In the United States, failing to pass corporate-written deals, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, supposedly risks the prestige and foreign policy designs of the nation; In Greece, failing to beat up their citizens some more supposedly risks the smooth functioning of Europe.

The eurozone project could be doomed regardless of Greece’s actions. And Greece iscertainly doomed to a seemingly endless series of crisis points and unsatisfactory resolutions, while they can’t find work and must pay more for basic goods and services. The entire continent of Europe is stuck in a box of their own making, led by vain economic illiterates who think heaping more pain on the public is the path to glory. Without new thinking, I’ll be writing this same column in another six months, in perpetuity.


David Dayen

David Dayen is a contributing writer for Salon. Follow him on Twitter at@ddayen.

Revolutionary Eye • EU Referendum:Yes or No?

via Revolutionary Eye • EU Referendum:Yes or No?.

(Revolutionary Eye:Workers from Telefonica phone company take part in a demonstration blocking the traffic and protesting against the unjustified dismissals at their company in2012.Will European workers like them  understand a call for a No Vote as Solidarity in the fight against Austerity?)


Socialist Worker Editorial

EU referendum debate can’t be left to racists

The Tory right and the racist Ukip want to use the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union (EU) to ramp up racism. They argue that if Britain leaves the EU then tougher immigration controls can be imposed.

Every flag-waving nationalist and bigot will crawl out from underneath their rock to argue against the EU shackling “our” freedoms. Socialist Worker will be at the forefront of campaigning against the scapegoating of migrants. But we won’t side with any “keep Britain in” campaign either.

Lined up on that side is Tory prime minister David Cameron and the majority of the British ruling class. That’s because the EU is a bosses’ club and is no guarantor of workers’ rights. It polices austerity across the continent.

For the last five years, it has imposed brutal austerity on workers in Greece. It is determined to defeat any attempt to break free from its stranglehold. But it’s not just a matter of the wrong policies. The EU is a thoroughly pro-business project.

The process of European integration got underway because European capitalists outgrew the markets that their nation states could provide.

British business wants to remain in the EU in order to maintain its profits. Some on the right who oppose the EU will try to make leaving it about controlling immigration. But staying in it is no guarantee that workers will be able to move freely. Bosses want a flexible pool of labour within the EU and stop the people from outside getting in.

It’s because of the EU’s “Fortress Europe” that thousands of migrants are are dying in the Mediterranean.

Cameron wants both EU membership and tougher immigration controls. We cannot rely on the ruling class to stand up for migrants.

When business needs more labour it will encourage migration. But bosses will also whip up racism to divide workers.

Socialists must make a principled defence of migrants—from both outside and inside the EU—based on working class solidarity. Defending the bosses’ racist club doesn’t help us do this.

There is a difference between the international solidarity of the working class and the global cooperation of the capitalist class. Socialist Worker stands in solidarity with Greek workers’ battle against austerity. Breaking with the EU can help them weaken the shackles of austerity.

A vote against the EU could also cause a crisis for our rulers. The Tory party could rip itself apart over its divisions on Europe.

If socialists abstain from making our arguments only the racist right would gain from such a crisis.

But by building struggle we can push back their poison.


Opposing bosses’ EU would mean siding with the racists.I was disappointed to see Socialist Worker argue for a no vote (Socialist Worker, 30 May) on staying in the European Union (EU).

If the no vote wins, racists, xenophobes, Ukip and a section of the Tory party would gain confidence. Millions of migrant workers and most of the labour movement would be demoralised.Many people see the EU as a bulwark against the nastiness of the Tories.

The left no camp sadly no longer has Tony Benn or Bob Crow. The best trade union leaders are for yes.The EU is an undemocratic bosses’ club, but the political landscape has changed.

To argue now for no is ultra-left and puts us on the wrong side. No one will notice the “but” in a leaflet that says “No, but we are against racism”.We should be in the yes camp. Let’s unite with workers across the EU—and with the pro-EU parties Syriza and Podemos—for a Europe that puts people before profit
Clare Fermont, East London

It seemed obvious 40 years ago that socialists should oppose joining the European common market—obviously a bosses’ club.But is the issue so clear cut today?

The EU is still a bosses’ club and no doubt big business will line up to oppose leaving it. But it is more than that.Are we against the distribution of money to distressed regions? Are we against legislation guaranteeing certain workers’ rights and women’s rights?Are we in favour of the free movement of labour?

The other side seeks to turn the referendum into an anti-immigrant campaign.Should socialists be explaining to migrant workers that the EU is a bosses’ club they should vote against—if they even have a vote?Can we be seen as on that side of the divide?It just seems totally wrong.
John Charlton, Newcastle

(Bristol:will they?)

an equally apt metaphor might by the rubicon…

Sustainable Prosperity.

…following the overthrow of the republic, all the trappings of republican legitimacy were retained for display.