Rob writes..

> G'day Thaxists,
> I don't think it matters whether trying to hang on to the prizes of past
> expansionism constitutes an act of imperialism today or not, really.  I
> reckon we might be missing the point of all this!

Um which prizes? And I think the point is the permanent revolution albut directed at a 
situation which we have never been confronted with before.
> I don't reckon Russia can win this war, and I don't reckon it could ever
> have thought it could.  Sure, it's always handy to tell other seccessionists
> in other areas that there'll be a ghastly price to pay for trying it on (or
> support others, as some Chechens did the Dagestanis); and sure, war's a
> great way to get the elite's outrageous corruption off the front pages; and
> sure, war is good for cohering a grumbling populace, across class lines,
> behind the banner in volatile times.  But what a war of this sort is not, is
> a good idea in its own terms.  After all, oil sourcing will be as fraught
> after this as it was before, and the chances of further terrorist acts
> shan't be diminished one iota either.

I think the whole war not seen in international perspective coming out of the 
destruction of the SU and where we are heading is pointless. Interestingly enough the 
right wing on the internet points out that it is hardly the middle east or Ireland 
today which is the crucible but has shifted to the Balkans and the Southern belly of 
the ex SU..This war like the Balkans is the beginning of jockeying before the next big 
one. So completely pointless to argue who wins or loses. Although the Islamic revival 
connected to the middle east certainly is a factor in this.
> I'm sure some brave mujihadeen types are digging in at Grosny for the last
> big show, but I'm equally sure the balance of the Chechen guerilla force is
> a long way away.  That's the nature of the guerilla, innit?  Not to get
> caught in decisive pitched battles against overwhelming forces?  When the
> masonry stops smoking and the bodies stop rotting, there'll still be a
> significant guerilla presence and, if anything, it'll have a more
> sympathetic milieu within which to swim around and reproduce.  And Russia is
> certainly in no position to garrison Chechnya with thirty or forty divisions
> for the foreseeable future.  Nope, western mediation was always gonna be
> quietly invited in to do the dealing that would allow a 'peace-with-honour'
> scenario for Moscow.  I reckon they'll flatten what's left of Grosny to make
> their point, and then allow themselves to be talked out of the ruins of
> Chechnya.  I give it three weeks, meself.  The weather gets very nasty after
> that, for one thing.

Well Iran won't be taken in three weeks nor the entire Islamic world and revival of 
the modern crusades in a sense.
> So I reckon this war is very much about the now - and an issue so pressing
> as to make the likely longer term price one worth paying.  And thus do I get
> back to my opening paragraph.  Is it A, B or C?  Or a combination.  Or
> something else altogether?  Mebbe setting up a succession in Moscow? 
> Installing a pro-Muscovite/West puppet government so that Chechens will be
> too busy with a civil war to organise against their oppressors?  Moscow
> joining the West in some global putsch against Islam - Chechnya but a
> world-political football?

Actually this raises and interesting point. Certainly the old half dead alcoholic 
Yeltsin's demise can lead to a whole lot of things. But my take is that capitalist 
Russia with its own imperialist intentions will find some sort of successor.By the way 
a right wing nationalist or fascist solution which even Dave argues is and option 
certainly must be seen as some sort of class solution. Or do you thing a fasist 
takeover can be implemented through imperialist intervention. This would make all the 
writtings on fascism stand on its head I believe.
> All very risky plays, for mine - but then mebbe the situation is so fraught
> that big risks are tenable.  [Even a possible post-bellum popular revulsion
> against Moscow which might (just might) help foster some class solidarity
> with left-inclined malcontents in Eastern Europe - I can't see any ensuing
> between Russian workers and Chechens for a generation or so - anti-Chechen
> racism is rife in Russia, I'm told).

Well any serious worek between western workers and Russian workers sooner or later 
will have to take place in the trenches. But pointing out that all the reforms now 
under attack in the west are directly connected to the destructiuon of the SU 
certainly might be helpful..
> Anyway, when was the last time demonstrably resolute guerillas with reliable
> sources of munitions and moral support in the region and significant support
> among the people, were decisively beaten on their own patch?

Actually this point I find very very interesting. The ICL has the position that the 
path of guerrilla war leading to deformed workers states has now with the destruction 
of the SU been permantly closed. However Rob's arguement of guerrilla warfare 
supported by capitalist/imperialists forces leading to capitalist regimes in the 
service of one imperialism or another carving out a space in the present turmoil a 
opossibility. I wonder?

Warm regards

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