Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Uwilingiyimana Murder--Is his letter a suicide note or an indictment of the illegal ICTR? -- CM/P

The Uwilingiyimana Murder--Is his letter a suicide note or an indictment of the illegal ICTR? -- CM/P

[On December 17, 2005, Juvénal Uwilingiyimana's body was found floating in the Brussels-Charleroi canal. Here's how the BBC told the story of his death:


--Friday, 23 December 2005, 15:25 GMT
--Canal body 'was Rwandan minister'

--A decomposed body found in a canal in Brussels is that of a Rwandan former minister facing charges of genocide, the Belgian justice ministry has said.

Juvenal Uwilingiyimana, 54, a former minister for parks, went missing from his home in the city on 21 November.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Tanzania had indicted him earlier this year for his alleged part in Rwanda's 1994 genocide.--

‘. . . earlier this year’? Now, this is not very precise, not up to the quality of its reporting on Central Africa and Yugoslavia for which the BBC has become (in)famous. In fact, though the investigators tried to woof Mr Uwilingiyimana into rolling over on his comrades (sop in the witness preparation games that are running at full-speed in Rwanda, Yugoslavia, Iraq and throughout their ex-pat communities of Africa, the ME, Europe and North America) by reading him the indictment they had prepared against him, he was not officially indicted until about a week after he turned up missing—and only a couple of days after his body was identified by Belgian authorities. But, in case there remains any doubt as to where the BeeBer studied History, its article places British Broadcasting snuggly among that flock of narcotized parakeets that maintains the general public’s disinformed false consciousness about recent Rwandan history—and History in general—when it stipulates to what the ICTR is still, after ten feckless years, trying to prove: mainly, that the Rwandan Genocide went down like this:

--Some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered {by their neighbors and their own government—nb} in 100 days.--

The Australian online (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,17655441%255E2703,00.html)
suggests that Mr Uwilingiyimana was ‘cooperating’ with the ICTR, and that his death was either a suicide brought on by the gravity of his indictment for genocide or, what the Prosecutor's office is pushing as the likeliest cause of death, another political hit by his fellow Hutu ‘genocidaires’ to prevent the former minister of parks from testifying against them.

The truth of this murder is pitifully clear. In the context of what has become an ancillary prefabrication process within the New International Justice Industry represented by these ad hoc Tribunals, Mr. Uwilingiyimana's murder is merely another example of how washed-out candidates from the ICTR's witness-training conservatory are dealt with. As his letter shows, he refused to be terrorized into bearing false witness against his countrymen and women, and had to be tossed out of this snitch academy—neutralized with extreme prejudice then thrown naked from the torture chamber directly into a Belgian canal.

But what drives people like these investigators who work for the Tribunals to behave so reprehensibly? To make common cause with international terrorist organizations, modern-day privateers like the Rwandan Patriotic Front in Central Africa and the Kosovo Liberation Army in Yugoslavia? It might just be a simple workman's zeal to do his job well (so as not to lose his one tenuous hold on the ‘real world’) without asking questions about higher goals or the greater good. Right?

Or it might be (and this is a notion currently in development for a soon-to-be posted CM/P essay, 'Jackals That The Jackals Would Despise') the latest expression of the Victims’ Rights movement—kinda like MADG—Mothers Against Drunk Genocide. This cunning manipulation of the justice system, meant to further streamline or fast-track prosecutions, began in California in 1967 as a conservative reaction to the increased enforcement of the rights of the accused (like the Miranda protections against self-incrimination, or the strict application of the 4th Amendment’s protections against illegal {warrant-less} search and seizure—yeah, I know, the Patriot Acts I and II have made all these ancient safeguards against punishing the innocent seem about as relevant as KC and the Sunshine Band); and reached a peak of frenzied popularity, with Victims’ Rights Amendments in almost every state constitution and hundreds of millions of dollars in its bank account, during the Reagan/Bush 80s, which saw the advent of a media-driven craze for prosecutions of satanic pedophiles like Ray Buckey and Peggy McMartin Buckey of Newport Beach’s McMartin preschool, or New Jersey’s Little Rascals preschool case which saw several defendants catch multiple life bids on the basis of testimony shamelessly cajoled, threatened or otherwise led from pre-adolescent witnesses. After nearly 25 years of Justice contorted and even aborted by ‘victims’ courts’ like The Hague and Arusha Tribunals, age-old legal protections like the presumption-of-innocence and the burden-of-proof’s being on the prosecution had become little more than the concerns of pre-law students and the topics of Trivial Pursuit questions and Jeopardy answers—and major murder trials, like OJ’s, were conducted more and more in the media as kind of e-lynchings.

The chief prosecutor at ICTR, Hassan Bubacar Jallow, as cited in The Australian’s piece, explains very clearly just for whom all this legal, and especially the extra- and illegal, activity is being undertaken:

--Mr Jallow said. "If the cause of (Mr. Uwilingiyama’s) death is determined to be homicide, the office of the prosecutor expresses the fervent hope that Belgian authorities will be able to arrest and try those responsible for a crime that obstructs justice for the victims of the Rwanda genocide."--

So, there you go: it's all about justice for the victims. While satanic child-molestation prosecutions (esp. those based on ‘recovered memories’) have long since been banned in most civilized societies, the righteous anger of the morally bereft (a true, uncontrolled WMD) has been diverted into the struggle for justice for the victims of certain (Humanitarian) genocides often referred to as ‘Holocausts’—so to deny the legality of these prosecutions is to become a . . . you guessed it.

And in the name of Victims' Rights, anything goes—but usually what goes first and goes directly into les chiottes in these highly politicized prosecutions are almost all the important protections that were conventionally or constitutionally guaranteed to the accused. Just another ethical flip-flop: With over-rehearsed (and otherwise bought-off) witnesses permitted by these moot courts to give unsubstantiated, often hearsay, evidence, usually channeled from ‘Victims’ Heaven’ where cross-examination is not permitted, the New Justice insists that the prejudged perps are Guilty until proven Innocent.

But see what you think after you read the late Mr Uwilingiyimana's letter. Sound like a suicide note written by a 'turned' witness to you?

(A couple of NBs: 1 October 1990 is the date that the Rawandan Patriotic Front, with an army of more than 5000 heavily armed and US- and Israeli-trained and supported members of the Ugandan National Resistance Army {most RPF leaders, including the current Rwandan president Paul Kagame, are still listed as active-duty Ugandan military personnel} invaded Rwanda from Uganda. This began what would be a four-year reign of terror in which tens, even hundreds of thousands of Rwandans were slaughtered and more than a million displaced. It eventuated in the a final onslaught by the RPF, covered a postiori by its leader, Kagame’s ordering the shooting down of Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana's executive jet on 6 April 1994. This final aggression by the ‘liberating rebels’ drove millions of Rwandans out of the country, most going into Eastern Congo {where a genocide of the ‘genocidaires’ and their families continues to this day}, and left tens of thousands more, those who couldn't or wouldn't leave their homes, to die horrible deaths at the hands of the RPF 'maquisards’—the putative saviors in what has become a pop historical reference, the UA film Hot’L Rwanda—and who, around the beginning of May 1994, after the end of the movie’s story and in a campaign to attack with heavy artillery all places where there were large concentrations of displaced persons, actually shelled that Sabena Hotel, The Hotel des Milles Collines, and killed many Rwandans still sheltered there.

And 'the Akuza' {meaning 'Little House' in Kinyirawanda} was the name given to a group that formed around President Habyarimana's wife, Agathe Kanziga. This group was said to practice voodoo and other dark arts, and to have a great deal of influence with the President, his party, the MRND, its youth group, the Interahamwe, and his government in general {which became know in the Human Rights Community as the 'Extremist Hutu' government, was initially blamed for Habyarimana’s assassination, and is currently being held responsible for the whole of the Rwandan Genocide.)—mc

Uwilingiyimana Juvénal 5 November 2005, Brussels
Rue Moretus 4
1070 Anderlecht, Brussels

The Prosecutor of the ICTR
PO Box 6016
Arusha, Tanzania

Mr. Prosecutor,

I have been interviewed several times by your representatives from the ICTR: Richard Renaud, director of investigations, Stephan Rapp, chief of legal proceedings, Rejean Tremblay and André Delvaux, investigators; even you, yourself, met with me on 5 October 2005.

I was asked from the beginning if I was willing to make a contribution to bringing out the truth about the Rwandan drama. I responded positively and enthusiastically. But later, when it became a question of getting to the heart of the matter, Mr. Tremblay first read me the indictment you had written up against me. I’ll spare you the details that led up to your making your demand: I must help you ‘destroy’ (the exact term used by the investigators) Mr. ZIGIRANYIRAZO Protais and all the member of the Akazu, including his sister Agathe, and destroy the leadership of the MRND, among whom NGIRUMPATSE Mathieu, KAREMARA Edouard and NZIRORERA Joseph had already been given up to your office by Mr. BAGARAGAZA Michel, a man about whose good qualities and honesty your investigators could not stop bragging.

I do not want to lie to please these investigators and to give credit to your thesis according to which the Rwandan genocide was planned exclusively by the MRND and the Akuza. I am ready to face all the consequences that were described to me by investigators Tremblay and Delavaux: that I will be lynched, crushed, my corpse will be trampled in the streets and dogs will piss on it (these are the investigators own terms.).

Mr. Prosecutor, those who planned and carried out the genocide of the Rwandan people, beginning the 1st of October 1990, are well know; those who assassinated President HABYARIMANA Juvenal and unleashed this horror on Rwanda are also well known and are the same ones who planned and executed the genocide of the people in Congo.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Dallaire Genocide Fax: A Fabrication[1] -- by Maitre Christopher Black

[Christopher Black is a good friend of mine. He, along with his Canadian colleague Maitre Tiphaine Dickson, got me interested in the Rwanda dossier—in fact, Chris got me into the Yugoslavia dossier from which he led me into the Rwanda dossier—and brought me to Africa in April 2004 to meet his client, Major General Augustin Ndindilyimana, ex-chief of the Rwandan National Gendarmerie. The General's Book on Rwanda is the book I’m writing for General Ndindiliyimana.

Chris's article here is as timely and cogent as it is heartbreaking. Timely, because the potted ‘Rwandan Genocide of One Hundred Days’ has become the template for subsequent Humanitarian Genocides; heartbreaking, because all Chris's dedication to Justice, Historical Truth, and the best interests of his client's defense, will probably not make it much past the various e-lists of the already convinced. Will Michel Collon and Ludo Martens at the Belgian Workers Party read and take heed of Chris' story—a story not particularly kind to Belgium and its fey support of Kabila’s Congo? Will the French, especially the French Left, finally stop slobbering about 'Nous sommes tous les génocidaires' long enough to twig to the fact that they, too, as business partners of the Habyarimana government of Rwanda, were targeted as a nation and murdered as individuals in the US/UK/UN-backed campaign to turn Francophone African clientage Anglophone?

That this bogus 'genocide fax' has been passed back and forth across the Arusha Trib's bar for the last ten years like a bowl of soggy peanuts is further evidence that the system of international ad hoc tribunals has no basis in any legality. It is, in fact, like the so-called UN reparations commission before it that administered the murderous sanctions against Iraq and forced the Iraqis to pay the costs of their own destruction with their own oil money—and their own life's blood—merely another means for waging war against nations that would pretend to a certain independence from the financial and commercial and, especially, military machinations of Western waste capitalism.

But Chris's revelations here seem, sadly, to be like casting pearls before brain-dead swine, and another sterling example of how 'waste capitalism' wastes its finest talents—those talents that it is unable to contaminate with its own self-devouring malignancy, careerism—by expelling them to the dark geopolitical netherworlds that are mostly passed over by the kliegs of the news media—and when affairs like the criminal aggressions against Rwanda or Yugoslavia or Iraq are recognized by the likes of the NYTimes, as in the recent piece on Ramsey Clark's defending Saddam Hussein, or anything by Marlise Simon on President Milosevic's being physically and in other ways unfit to continue outing of The Hague Tribunal as just another of Mad Albright's dull follies, it is usually to point out the silly eccentricities of the players and generally to trivialize the whole proceeding as the inept prattlings of a moot court.

But, thanks to Chris, here is the real deal on what happened in the inky past of that ever-darker continent. And as long as we have legal advisers like Maitres Black and Clark—and the always-on-my-A-Team, Tiphaine Dickson (whose contributions to the general body of knowledge on the political and legal history of Central Africa and the on-going genocide of the hapless poor in Eastern Congo—and, certainly, her diligent care for my understanding of all this—should not be neglected here),—with this kind of representation, we will, none of us, have any excuses for copping a nolo on that radical commitment to understanding, revealing and promoting the true history of our times. Without this sense of historical vérité, we can never be fully human. –mc ]


The Dallaire Genocide Fax: A Fabrication (12/01/05 12:00 PM)


December 1, 2005

View from Rwanda:

The Dallaire Genocide Fax: A Fabrication[1]

Chris Black

Since 2000, Chris Black has been a lead counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal For Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania. From that perspective he has seen that Rwanda was not a situation in which the United States and its allies failed to act. On the contrary, it was an example of direct interference by the United States and its allies. Why? Three reasons: the US wished to replace the Hutu regime which did not want to cooperate with US aggression towards Mobutu in Zaire. Secondly, the US wants to reduce French influence in central Africa. The final US objective was and is control of the vast resources of the Congo.

The murder of two African presidents

The idea that the Rwandan government planned the genocide of the minority Tutsi population in 1994 rests primarily on the statements of the enemies of that government who need the idea of a genocide in order to justify the final act of aggression against Rwanda by the so-called Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) and its allies. That final act of aggression was the RPF offensive launched the night of April 6, 1994, with the massacre of everyone on board the jet aircraft of President Habyarimana, the Hutu president of Rwanda, and President Ntaryamira, the Hutu president of Burundi.

The two presidents were returning from a meeting called by President Museveni of Uganda to discuss the implementation of the Arusha Accords, the peace agreement between the Rwandan government and the RPF-Ugandan forces which had invaded the country in October 1990. Also on board the plane was the Rwandan Army Chief of Staff, other dignitaries and a French military crew. The plane was shot down by anti-aircraft missiles as it approached Kigali airport. It is now established that the plane was shot down by the RPF with the cooperation and assistance of western powers including the United States of America, Britain, Belgium and Canada. President Ntaryamira was the second Hutu president murdered by Tutsis within a six-month period. President Ndadaye of Burundi was murdered by Tutsi officers of the Burundi Army in October of 1993.

British and US interests

The attack on the plane was the culmination of a long-planned war by the RPF and its allies. The war began in October 1990 when Ugandan soldiers of Tutsi origin invaded Rwanda under the name of the RPF. This act of aggression by Uganda was supported by both Britain and the USA. Those countries provided the encouragement and the financial, material, logistical, advisory and training support necessary, flowing it all through the Ugandan Army to the RPF. The American and British instigated and controlled the war as a means of advancing their grand strategy of invading Zaire to seize control of the vast resources of the Congo basin.

The first attack was repelled and the RPF then adopted terrorism and guerilla operations to undermine Rwanda. Several other major attacks took place in the following three years. At the same time, the western allies of the RPF pressured the Rwandan government to come to terms with the RPF and in 1993 at Arusha, Tanzania, a series of negotiations resulted in the signing of the Arusha Accords. The Rwandan government was forced to make several major concessions to the RPF even though it could only claim, at best, to represent 15% of the Rwandan population. The Accords called for the establishment of a transition government sharing power with the RPF, leading to elections of a final government. However, it was known by everyone that the RPF could never win such elections and could only win power by force of arms and treachery.

Enter Dallaire

The Accords also called for the presence in Rwanda of a neutral UN force to help keep the peace during the process. That force, known as UNAMIR, was headed by Jacques Roger Booh-Booh and, under him, the military force commander, Canadian General Romeo Dallaire.

As UN documents show, Dallaire was aware, at least from December 1993, and probably before, that the RPF, with the support of the Ugandan Army, was daily violating the Accords by sending into Rwanda men, materiel, and light and heavy weapons in preparation for a final offensive. Dallaire kept this information from his boss Booh-Booh and the Secretary General, Boutros-Ghali. The RPF was assisted in these violations of the Accords by the Belgian contingent of UNAMIR and the Canadian officers involved who turned a blind eye to the RPF and Ugandan Army smuggling into Rwanda men and materiel--and even assisted them in doing so--all the while protesting that the Hutu regime was hiding weapons, a charge which has never been proved.

In conjunction with the military build-up by the RPF and its allies, including the infiltration into Kigali, the capital city, of up to 10,000 RPF soldiers, western journalists and western intelligence services masquerading as “human rights” organizations began a concerted propaganda campaign against the Government and through it the Hutu people, accusing it of various human rights abuses, none of which were substantiated. The RPF engaged in assassinations of officials, politicians and civilians, and attempted to cast the blame on the government. Dallaire assisted in this campaign by suppressing facts concerning these crimes and openly siding with the RPF propaganda statements.

A country pushed to the brink

These actions, combined with the stresses of the war on the economy and the social fabric of the country, mass unemployment, a large internal refugee population fleeing RPF attacks, and the breakdown of the government’s ability to function caused by the collapse of revenue from coffee and tea exports, resulted in a tinderbox. Only a spark was needed for the country to explode. That spark was the murder of the much-loved President and the country-wide offensive launched by the RPF and its allies the night of April 6, 1994.

From the very start of their offensive, the RPF began a propaganda campaign claiming that they were motivated by the need to stop a “genocide”. This entirely false claim was never questioned by the western press, always eager to support their governments, even in the face of the fact that the Rwandan government several times asked the RPF for cease-fires so that attacks on civilians could be stopped, and the fact that Rwanda, then a member of the Security Council, demanded that 5,000 more UN troops be sent to assist in controlling the situation, a request refused at the instigation of the US.

They stepped up this propaganda campaign as the war progressed. On April 13, 1994, the RPF demanded the trial of the Rwandan government and army for “genocide” before an international tribunal, echoing the threat made to President Habyarimana by Herman Cohen[2] on behalf of the US in the fall of 1993, that unless Habyarimana ceded all power to the RPF his body would be dragged through the streets of Kigali and his government tried by an international tribunal. This demand, at one and the same time, criminalized the Rwandan government, justified the RPF and American refusal to negotiate terms with “criminals”, prevented the government from obtaining support and assistance from its major western ally, France, destroyed any support it had in the international community and public opinion and finally justified the brutal RPF military dictatorship over the people of Rwanda and the refusal to allow Hutus any power in Rwanda.
The RPF and its allies succeeded in all these objectives and continue their propaganda campaign today with endless show trials both in Rwanda, through the Gacaca “trial” system, and through the show trials of Hutus taking place at the American and British controlled Rwanda War Crimes Tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania.

Two major problems with RPF claims of genocide

However, there are two major problems with the RPF claims. Firstly, there is a surprising lack of evidence of a genocide of Tutsis. In fact, the only independent study of those killed in Rwanda in 1994, being conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Maryland, indicates that there were approximately 250,000 people killed, not the 800,000-plus advanced by the RPF, and that for every Tutsi killed two Hutus were killed and those mainly by the RPF. This is confirmed in the recently released book, Rwanda, Histoire Secrete (2005, Edition du Panama), written by a former RPF officer named Abdul Ruzibiza, who states that the RPF shot down the plane [for further sources on this key issue see Appendix below] and that there was a genocide not of Tutsis by Hutus but of Hutus by the RPF.

Secondly, there is a stunning lack of documentary evidence of a government plan to commit genocide. There are no orders, minutes of meetings, notes, cables, faxes, radio intercepts or any other type of documentation that such a plan ever existed. In fact, the documentary evidence establishes just the opposite.

The "genocide" fax

This lack of documentation is the Achilles Heel of the RPF-western claims of genocide. Something was needed to fill this void. That something is the so-called “genocide” fax supposedly sent to UN HQ in New York City on the night of January 10th-11th, 1994, and which first made its appearance in public on November 28th, 1995, when it was placed in the UN files in New York and contemporaneously leaked to a journalist in Belgium and the London Observer.

This fax is the single document upon which the claims of a planned genocide rest. It was supposedly sent by General Dallaire to General Baril, another Canadian general at the Dept of Peace Keeping Operations in New York. It sets out the claims of a UN informant named Jean Pierre Turatsinze that the ruling government party planned to exterminate Tutsis, was training civilians for that purpose, and that there was a plan to kill Belgian soldiers to provoke the withdrawal of UN forces. This fax has been trumpeted by the ICTR prosecution as the key to the plan to commit genocide. However, all the evidence presented at the Tribunal and elsewhere establishes that, in fact, the fax is a fabrication.

On November 5th, 1995, the RPF organized a conference in Kigali to amplify support for their claims of genocide and for the trial and punishment of those responsible. This conference failed to provide any documentary evidence of such a claim. At the same time, a UNAMIR commission was created by its new head, Mr. S Khan, and it included several UN officers who went through all the UNAMIR cables, faxes, and reports, to determine whether there had been any prior indication of such a plan. Not one document was found, and certainly not the “genocide” fax. That commission report is dated November 20th , 1995.

Fax on the fast track

Then, mysteriously, a few days after the release of the UN report, on November 28th, 1995, a fax machine at the UN offices in New York received a fax of a copy of a coded cable dated January 11th, 1994, sent by Dallaire to General Baril. The problem is that the person who sent the fax to New York that day was a Colonel R. M. Connaughton of the British Army, based at Camberly, Surrey, England, the home of the British Military Academy, Sandhurst, as well as several other British Army establishments. His name and fax number appear at the top of the document. There was no cover letter explaining who sent it, why it was sent, nor is there anything indicating why this document was accepted by the UN in New York and placed in the DPKO files.

This document has typed on its face, “This cable was not found in DPKO files. The present copy was placed in the files on November 28th, 1995.” It is signed by Lamin J. Sise, a UN official. The document contains other handwritten notes made on it after its receipt that day.

However, the copy of this document presented by the Prosecutor at the ICTR for the last ten years has had the name and fax number of the sender, Sise’s note, and other notes, removed. It is this doctored version of the cable that the Prosecutor tried to present as an exhibit in the Military II trial in October, 2005, through a prosecution witness, Lt. Col. Claeys, an officer of the Belgian Army and one of the men who claims to have drafted and sent the original cable. But the prosecution suffered a major setback and embarrassment when defence counsel objected to the attempt to make this doctored version an exhibit and entered into the record the copy of the fax contained in the DPKO files bearing the name of the British Army source.

Conflicting testimony

Both General Dallaire and Lt. Col. Claeys have testified that the contents of the fax as set out in the fax presented by the prosecution are identical to the contents of the fax or cable sent the night of January 10th-11th, though, interestingly, Dallaire states that Claeys was not involved in drafting the fax, whereas Claeys insists he was. It is clear that Dallaire testified to the contrary when he was faced on cross-examination in the Military I trial with statements made by Claeys in 1995 to Belgian investigators and in 1997 to the Belgian Senate, that the fax sent that night dealt only with weapons caches and seeking protection for the informant and contained nothing about killing Tutsis or killing Belgian soldiers. In order to eliminate this embarrassing fact, Dallaire simply erased Claeys from the picture.

It is clear from the the fax itself and the surrounding circumstances, that there was a fax sent that night but it was not the one now presented to the ICTR and the world as the one sent by Dallaire.

The informant was presented to Dallaire by Faustin Twagiramungu, a Rwandan opposition candidate for Prime Minister, an opponent of the Rwandan government and a sympathizer with the RPF. He has since stated that he told Dallaire and his staff that the informant claimed to have information only about weapons caches and he was surprised to hear years later that the informant had information about the killing of Tutsis and Belgians.

General Dallaire does not mention such a fax before November 1995. There is no mention of plans to kill Tutsis or Belgians contained in notes of meetings between the informant and Claeys which followed the first meeting with the informant described in the fax. Again, the principal subject mentioned in those meetings is weapons caches. Neither Dallaire nor any of the Belgian commanders acted as if they had received any such information. There was no action taken by them to put their men on alert or to take precautions. There was no response from New York to such a fax. There exist only responses to a fax concerning weapons caches, but this original fax is nowhere to be found.

It is clear that Dallaire sent a fax that night and that it concerned only weapons caches and seeking advice from New York regarding the protection of the informant. In fact, the subject heading of the “genocide” fax is not “genocide” or “killing” but an innocuous “Request For Protection of Informant”. The present fax was fabricated using the original fax, which dealt only with weapons caches, and cutting out some of the paragraphs of that fax and pasting in new paragraphs about killing Tutsis and Belgians. This is supported by the fact that the paragraphs are numbered 1 through 13, but there is no paragraph 12. Further the only reply to a fax sent that night from Kigali refers to a paragraph 7 as the action paragraph. But in the fax as presented by the prosecution the action paragraph is paragraph 9, the paragraph seeking advice on protection of the informant. Also Paragraph 11 states that Dallaire will meet with Faustin Twagiramungu to brief him on events, but, as we know, that man states that he was never told of such information coming from the informant. Lastly, paragraph 2 states that the killing of Belgians would “guarantee Belgian withdrawal from Rwanda”, something that could only be known after the fact.

Nobody told Booh-Booh

One last curious fact is that Dallaire states he bypassed protocol by sending the fax without the signature of his boss, Booh-Booh, or his even seeing it. He states that this is the only occasion when this happened. This only makes sense if, in fact, he did not violate protocol because he never sent this fax in the first place. His version is a way of getting around the fact that Booh-Booh never saw what is now called the “genocide” fax. Booh-Booh testified at the Rwanda War Crimes Tribunal the week of November 21, 2005, that he never saw the fax Dallaire says he sent and that, further, General Dallaire never said anything to him in their meeting of January 12, 1994, about the informant's mentioning the killing of Belgians or Tutsis. Booh-Booh also testified that when he and Dallaire met with several western ambassadors, including the Belgian ambassador, Dallaire never mentioned the killing of Belgians or Tutsis to them either, nor did he mention it in their meeting with President Habyarimana. In those meetings Dallaire spoke only about allegations of weapons caches.

New colonialism masquerading as “international justice”

All these circumstances can lead to one conclusion only: that the fax is a fabrication after the fact and that a fraud is being committed on the people of Rwanda and the world, as well as on the judges of the Rwanda war crimes tribunal. This fabricated fax is being used to try to condemn the accused on trial before the ICTR and to support the now discredited idea that a genocide was planned by the former Rwandan government against the Tutsi population of that tragic country. However it is becoming increasingly clear that General Dallaire worked with the RPF throughout his UN assignment in Rwanda in violation of the UN mandate. Booh-Booh states that Dallaire provided military intelligence to the RPF, as well as covering up their preparation for a final offensive, and, through his false testimony at the Rwanda War Crimes Tribunal and his book, continues to act on behalf of powerful interests in his own (Canadian) government and those of the United States and Britain.

The fabrication of the “genocide” fax is one more nail in the coffin of the Rwanda war crimes tribunal, ready to be buried under the weight of accusations of selective prosecution, political bias, unfair procedures, trial by hearsay, perjured testimony, and the cover-up of the murder of two African heads of state, and all in the name of a new colonialism masquerading as “international justice”.


1) In his book, Abdul Ruzibiza states that he was one of the men involved in bringing down the Presidents' plane as part of the shootdown team. He was an officer in the RPF. He is due to testify at the ICTR in the coming weeks if his security can be assured. He is presently in hiding in Norway.

2) The Hourigan Report: This report (a copy of which is in the author's possesion) was written by an Australian lawyer acting as the head of the investigative team at the ICTR assigned by then prosecutor Louise Arbour to determine who shot down the plane. She was acting under the theory that "extremist" Hutus in the Rwandan government shot down the plane. Hourigan and his team were successful in finding three members of the shootdown team who stated they were RPF, that they were assisted by a foreign power (unnamed), and that they had the documents to prove it. They asked for protection. When Arbour was presented with these facts she ordered the investigation closed. The author was informed by a former FBI agent who worked at the ICTR that she did so on the instructions of the US ambassador in Rwanda. (Which would make her guilty of being an accessory to a war crime, as the murder of a head of state in a war is a war crime, and it is evident that the murder of the president and army chief of staff was the first action of the RPF offensive.) This report was first published in the National Post in Canada by a reporter named Stephen Edwards in 2001.

The UN at first denied this report existed. But several defence counsel demanded its production so it was then "found" and sent under seal to the judges at the ICTR. They then released it to several defence teams.

Hourigan wrote this report to the oversight office for some reason, and it is a summary of the complete file. Several requests have been made to have the complete investigative file released, without success. Hourigan is now said to be working as a lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia.

3. Jean Piere Mugabe, the former head of RPF intelligence who fled the regime, also stated in 2001 that Kagame and the RPF shot down the plane.

4. French investigative judge Brugière, investigating the shootdown on behalf of the families of the French crew, leaked (or someone in his office did) a copy of the report to a French journalist with the English name Steven Smith last year. Smith published its findings in Le Monde which stated that it was the RPF who shot down the Presidential jet with the assistance of others.

5. Former UN Secratery General Boutros-Boutros Ghali stated this year that he had met Brugière at a conference and was told by the French judge that the CIA was "heavily implicated" in the shootdown.

6. To the knowledge of UNAMIR Commander Dallaire, the RPF was the only force in Rwanda which had anti-aircraft missiles. Dallaire arranged for the closure of the western approach to Kigali airport at the request of the RPF. This made it easier for the RPF and others to track the plane as it came in from the east. The Belgian contingent of the UN force was in control of the airport area and the area from which the missiles were fired. A Belgian unit (later killed at Camp Kigali) were the only people caught by the army coming out of the firing area after the shootdown when the army threw up a cordon to try to catch the culprits.

7. Wayne Madsen, a former US intel officer who wrote, CIA Covert Operations in the Great Lakes Area, 1990-93, states that (and testified to this before the US Congress in 2001 when hearings into the Rwanda and Congo wars were held by Cynthia McKinney) that the CIA, used a Swiss front company to rent a hangar at the Kigali airport in which they assembled the missiles. He also states that the US hoped to kill at the same time Mobutu of Zaire and Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya, all in in one fell swoop (they were supposed to attend the same meeting and be on the same flight) in order to seize control of all central and east Africa. At that time the US 6th fleet was cruising off Mombasa and there were 600 US Rangers on stand-by to assist the RPF in Burundi.

8. Charles Onana, a well-know journalist, wrote about his investigation into the shooting down of the Presidents' plane and found the RPF responsible, as did Canadian author Robin Philpot in his book It Didn't Happen That Way In Kigali (loose translation of the French title).

7. Honore Ngambo, Mobutu's former chief of security published a book earlier this year in France in which he recounts the last meeting between Mobut and the Hutu president two days before he was killed in which President Habyarimana stated that he was told by Herman Cohen that he was basically a dead man, and that Habyarimana heard from his agents in the RPF camp that the 'rebels' were going to shootdown the plane. He confronted Dallaire with this information, and that he knew Dallaire was involved, and Dallaire just replied "No one will believe you".

8. The author possesses a radio intercept of a message sent by Kagame to his forces in the field the night of the shootdown stating that the "Target is hit" and encouraging them to take to the field and that they would meet in Kigali and would receive support from their friends in the south, that is from Burundi—US and Burundian forces actually invaded Rwanda in May to link up with the RPF coming form the north. Other radio messages were intercepted referring to the fact the RPF had the assistance of the Belgians in the UN forces who were fighting alongside them. The Belgians deny this, of course.


[1]For an earlier essay entitled “ Persecution not Prosecution” (October 2004) see http://www.sandersresearch.com/Sanders/NewsManager/ShowNewsGen.aspx?NewsID=747

[2] Herman Cohen is a former US Secretary of State for African affairs who served under the elder George Bush. He is a consultant to American business firms operating and trading in Africa. He also provides strategic advice to African governments.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Krakow Report - Addendum II: Les ONG appuyaient la prise du Parlement haïtien par les armes - by Vincent Larouche -- de L'Aut'journal

[Un autre article qui est arrivé chez nous du Requin canadien. Si on remplace le nom 'Haiti' avec 'Yougoslavie', 'Rwanda', 'Ukraine', ou quelques autres pays ciblé pour changement de régime, on peut voir la version moderne du modèle pour l'ancien fasco plan de guerre. Les ONGs représentent les troupes de choc privés dans les guerres des images. USAID ou UA, c'est pareil : le portail devant le garage de Geo RutugUnda dans le film Hot'L Rwanda (que n'existait pas devant le véritable garage de Geo Rutaganda à Kigali) a le seul but de suggérer le portail devant Auschwitz, camp de mort qui est la première attraction de touristes à Cracovie en Pologne, un pays renommé pour son antisémitisme (ou anticommunisme)--sur le soixantième anniversaire de sa libération par l'Armée Rouge. --mc]

Le retour du canadien
N° 243 - octobre 2005

Les ONG appuyaient la prise du Parlement haïtien par les armes
Le Canada a financé la minorité anti-Aristide

Vincent Larouche

Il y plus d’un an et demi, aux premières heures du 29 février 2004, les soldats américains « escortaient » le président constitutionnel d’Haïti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, hors du pays pendant que les forces canadiennes sécurisaient l’aéroport de Port-au-Prince. Si le rôle joué par le Canada dans le « changement de régime » en Haïti à l’hiver 2004 et l’occupation du pays par la suite ont été amplement documentés, sa participation à la campagne préliminaire de déstabilisation n’avait jamais complètement été mise en lumière. C’est une des tâches auxquelles se sont attaqués les auteurs de Canada in Haïti : Waging War Against the Poor Majority, les journalistes Yves Engler et Anthony Fenton.

Le petit livre de 120 pages, dont les auteurs promettent la traduction française pour bientôt, retrace tout l’historique du coup d’État de 2004 et de la répression exercée par le gouvernement de facto contre les partisans du président Aristide et de son parti Lavalas. Toutefois, un des chapitres les plus intéressants concerne l’utilisation par le gouvernement canadien de la « société civile » pour déstabiliser un gouvernement élu et légitimer l’intervention des puissances occidentales dans le pays le plus pauvre de l’hémisphère. La stratégie reposait sur le financement d’ONG soi-disant progressistes, tant canadiennes qu’haïtiennes, à travers l’Agence canadienne de développement international (ACDI).

Au cours des années précédant le coup d’État, le Canada, les États-Unis et l’Union européenne ont pratiquement annulé toute aide au gouvernement haïtien, pour travailler plutôt directement avec des ONG haïtiennes favorables à la minorité anti-Aristide, expliquent les auteurs.

Les citoyens du Canada n’accepteraient jamais qu’on leur impose pareil modèle de développement, écrivent-ils. « Imaginez un plan pour fournir aux Canadiens leur éducation, leur système de santé, leur eau et leur sécurité sociale au moyen d’organismes de bienfaisance privés (financés par des pays étrangers), de grandes entreprises et de riches individus. Et si ces mêmes organismes de bienfaisance privés finançaient en même temps des partis politiques de l’opposition et appuyaient la prise du Parlement par les armes ? »

Ce changement dans l’attribution de l’aide au développement a contribué à la déconfiture de l’État haïtien, poursuivent Engler et Fenton. « Un rapport de l’ACDI publié en 2005 affirme que, dès 2004, les acteurs non-gouvernementaux (à but lucratif ou non) fournissaient près de 80 % des services de base. Si une école administrée par une ONG est certainement mieux que pas d’école du tout, un essaim d’écoles privées n’est pas un modèle de développement idéal. »

L’Agence canadienne de développement international l’a d’ailleurs admis elle-même, puisqu’elle avoue dans son rapport que le soutien aux acteurs non-gouvernementaux a contribué à la création d’un « système parallèle de fourniture des services » qui a nui aux efforts pour renforcer la bonne gouvernance.

Ottawa a aussi pu compter sur l’aide d’organisations non gouvernementales canadiennes dans sa campagne anti-Aristide. Les ONG canadiennes ont aidé le gouvernement fédéral à se servir de « l’aide au développement » en guise d’outil d’influence politique. Selon l’ACDI, la période 2000-2002 a été caractérisée par un changement vers le soutien à la société civile. « Il semble que pour le gouvernement canadien, “ société civile ” voulait dire l’opposition au gouvernement élu d’Haïti », soulignent les auteurs. « Sans exception, les documents obtenus de l’ACDI révèlent que les organisations idéologiquement opposées à Lavalas étaient les seuls récipiendaires du financement canadien. Les groupes de la société civile favorables à Lavalas ne recevaient aucuns fonds. »

Plusieurs organisations financées par l’ACDI et son équivalent américain, l’USAID, comme la America’s Development Foundation (ADF) et le Réseau Liberté, ont injecté des dizaines de millions de dollars dans la campagne de déstabilisation en Haïti, notamment par des campagnes de propagande (ou « d’éducation civique ») diffusées sur des dizaines de stations de radio haïtiennes.

Le 25 mars 2004, ce sont des ONG canadiennes comme Développement et Paix, Oxfam Québec et plusieurs autres qui ont témoigné devant un comité du ministère des Affaires étrangères pour affirmer presque à l’unanimité qu’Aristide avait démissionné de plein gré et que l’invasion étrangère était justifiée. À la fin de juillet, Oxfam reçu une bonne part de deux contrats de l’ACDI en Haïti d’une valeur de 15 millions $.

Parmi les nombreux cas troublants qu’on trouve dans le livre de Fenton et Engler, citons un organisme haïtien de « défense des droits humains », NCHR-Haïti, qui a reçu 100 000 $ de l’ACDI en 2004 dans le but spécifique de fournir une assistance aux victimes d’un supposé massacre commis par des partisans de Lavalas dans un village appelé La Scierie. L’événement présumé a servi aux putschistes pour faire enfermer l’ancien premier ministre Yvon Neptune et l’ancien ministre de l’Intérieur Jocelyn Privert. Tous les journalistes présents et les groupes de défense des droits humains indépendants affirment que ce meurtre de 50 personnes n’a jamais eu lieu. Seul NCHR-Haïti, le récipiendaire de l’aide canadienne, parle encore d’un massacre. Son chef de bureau en Haïti explique l’absence de preuves par le fait que les cadavres ont tous été dévorés par des chiens, y compris les crânes.

Yves Engler et Antony Fenton révèlent aussi qu’au moins un des membres du gouvernement de facto pendant les 15 premiers mois après le coup d’État était un employé de l’ACDI. Le ministre adjoint à la Justice, Philippe Vixamar, a en effet révélé à des chercheurs de l’Université de Miami que l’ACDI l’avait assigné à cette position et était son employeur direct. Pendant les quatre années précédant le renversement d’Aristide, il était sur la liste de paye de l’ACDI et de l’USAID.

Tout en manœuvrant en coulisse pour déstabiliser un gouvernement élu démocratiquement, Ottawa pouvait compter sur des médias « progressistes » pour s’assurer une couverture favorable dans le dossier haïtien. Il finance entre autres Alternatives, une ONG québécoise qui publie un journal du même nom, et qui travaille avec 15 groupes en Haïti, tous anti-Lavalas. 50 % de son budget vient du gouvernement canadien, principalement de l’ACDI.

En avril 2005, Alternatives a reçu une partie d’un projet de 2 millions $ de l’ACDI pour entraîner des journalistes haïtiens à couvrir les élections; ces mêmes élections qui serviront à légitimer le coup d’État et qui auront lieu après des mois de répression du parti politique le plus populaire, Lavalas.

Les auteurs font aussi remarquer que « dans une illustration frappante des périls d’accepter le financement gouvernemental, un supplément d’Alternatives encarté dans Le Devoir à la fin juin 2005 présentait un reportage sur Haïti qui reprenait carrément les vues des néoconservateurs sur Haïti. Le reportage d’Alternatives ne comprenait pas la moindre mention des prisonniers politiques, de la répression violente contre les militants Lavalas, ou même du coup d’État. »

Plus récemment, à l’occasion des Journées Alternatives, l’organisation a tenu un atelier sur Haïti, intitulé « Une démocratie à construire ». Comme le souligne Yves Engler, le titre approprié aurait plutôt été « Une démocratie renversée par le Canada ». Sur les cinq conférenciers invités, pas un seul n’a utilisé le mot coup d’État, pas un seul n’a parlé de la répression, ni de prisonniers politiques.

Situation pour le moins paradoxale, comme l’expose le livre Canada in Haïti, « nous avons ici le travail du haut fonctionnaire du gouvernement haïtien payé par l’ACDI, qui est légitimisé dans son travail par un groupe de défense des droits humains financé par l’ACDI […] et les résultats sont couverts par un journal financé par l’ACDI ».

Les auteurs Engler et Fenton offrent aussi de bonnes pistes de réflexion sur les motifs de l’intervention canadienne en Haïti en se penchant sur les entreprises canadiennes qui y font des affaires. Par exemple, la montréalaise Gildan Activewear, qui emploie 5000 personnes dans les manufactures de vêtement de Port-au-Prince et contrôle 40 % du marché américain du t-shirt, bénéficierait grandement de l’adoption du HERO Act, un accord qui exempterait les produits du textile haïtiens de droits de douane à leur entrée aux États-Unis. Aristide était vu comme un obstacle à l’adoption du HERO Act, tout comme sa décision de doubler le salaire minimum, peu avant son renversement.

Le livre affirme que « au moment de mettre sous presse, les compagnies minières canadiennes KWG et Ste-Geneviève Ressources étaient prêtes à exploiter un dépôt de cuivre estimé à 5 milliards de livres. Ces compagnies, en partenariat avec un homme d’affaire haïtien, auront aussi accès à un dépôt de 522 000 tonnes de minerai d’or. »

Toute invasion s’accompagne aussi automatiquement de contrats de « reconstruction » ou de développement. À la conférence des donateurs pour Haïti, tenue en juillet 2004 à Washington, 1,2 milliards $ en aide internationale ont été annoncés dont 180 $ millions venant du Canada. La firme d’ingénierie québécoise SNC-Lavalin, qui n’en est pas à son premier contrat en Haïti, est présentement très avancée dans ses négociations avec l’ACDI pour obtenir sa part du magot

Krakow Report - Addendum I: The hidden war: Partisans - cooperation and class struggle within the anti-fascist front - by Eva Niemeyer--from LalkarOnl

[Here's the history leçon I never got to teach in Krakow--and they wouldn't have sat still for this kind of information, anyway. But here it is as a tribute to that forgotten holocaust that took the lives of over 26 million Red Army and Partisan soldiers, as well as innocent Soviet and EEuropean civilians, in the heroic struggle that brought the defeat of (or perhaps it was merely a temporary set back to) Global Fascism (the pilosophical rationale for corporate waste capitalism). On this 60th anniversary of the people's victory in the Great Patriotic War, it is important to remind ourselves just who liberated whom from whom and what. Read this and be proud of your continuing anti-fascist struggle. --mc]


The hidden war: Partisans - cooperation and class struggle within the anti-fascist front

Eva Niemeyer

The 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War was commemorated by the bourgeoisies of the imperialist bloc in rare unity: the then lethal enemies celebrated themselves and each other as victors and victims alike. Victors in the sense that they finally managed to do away with socialism, especially in the form of the Soviet Union, which by the way always was the actual agenda of ALL imperialist powers during the Second World War. Victims in the sense that they regretted all the evils they had to inflict on each other during wartime and which ALL of them would rather have inflicted on their common enemy, the Soviet Union. Therefore, the common celebrations in the Normandy for them were of much greater significance than the ones in Moscow.

Although the Soviet Union does not exist any more, Russia, as a matter of patriotic pride and self-assertion, celebrated the Soviet victories with glorious events and references to her predecessor state. And, ignored by the world's bourgeois media, stood the great achievements of the partisans, the ones who made up the real second front during the war and finally helped to overthrow fascism. It is to their contribution in several countries that we briefly turn in what follows.

Soviet Union - Motherland of the partisans' movement

In the Soviet Union the partisans' war was in close cooperation with the regular troops of the Red Army. Already in preparation for the war, responsible cadres had been selected, especially in the Ukraine and Byelo-Russia, and depots were installed with weapons and supply. It was the CPSU who laid the foundation for a true people's war.1

Apart from the CPSU's organisation of the partisans' war, the fascist occupiers contributed to an accelerated growth of the movement by their bestial behaviour. The attacking troops which in their brutality ignored any laws of warfare were followed by so-called special commands (e.g., battalion "nightingale" which was headed by Mr. Oberlaender who after the war became a minister in Adenauer's cabinet) responsible for the murder of thousands of citizens in Polish and Soviet cities.

In 1942 the formation of partisans' battalions started in the Ukraine, Byelo-Russia and the Baltic States, as well as the creation of partisans' zones. These battalions reached a size of 6,000 - 12,000 troops and, during the course of the war, became equipped with trench mortars and machine guns. Overall the partisans committed more than 2,500 diversion acts to destroy railways between November 1942 and March 1943 whereby about 750 locomotives and 4,000 wagons were put out of action as well as more than 100 kilometres of rail destroyed.

The fascists reacted with the utmost brutality at every act of the resistance. In retaliatory measures for partisans' actions they shot hostages or destroyed complete villages. They also created nationalist troops - such as the bandits of Banderas who did their killing in the Ukraine and in Poland, and also used other traitors and criminals including former white guards. However, they had to be supported by regular front troops and partly even by complete tank divisions to fight the growing partisans' army. The fascists had to incur huge losses in this war.

The Eastern Front Partisans

In Byelo-Russia alone the partisan troops amounted to more than 500,000. And one of the strongest movements emerged in Yugoslavia, which could keep up to ten fascist divisions busy including several special quads. At the same time the resistance movement was not united, as different class interests prevailed within the movement. There was a fundamental contradiction to cope with. On the one hand, the struggle against fascism required an alliance of several classes, i.e. the proletariat and the peasants had to ally with progressive sections of the bourgeoisie, and, at the same time, conservative groups built up their own "resistance" who in turn were likely to be supported by the regular troops of the imperialist allies (esp. Anglo-American imperialism).

The "Rankin" plan, agreed by Roosevelt and Churchill at the Quebec conference in August 1943 and defined more precisely on 8 November 1943, designed as it was to "forestall the Russians", provided for a corresponding strategy of warfare. In the event of German defences breaking down, the following cities were to be occupied: in Germany - Bremen, Luebeck, Hamburg, the Ruhr Area, Cologne, Berlin, Dresden, Stuttgart and Munich; in Italy - Turin, Milan, Rome, Naples and Triest; in Southeast Europe - Budapest, Bucharest and Sofia. "Symbolic forces" were to be sent to The Hague, Brussels, Lyon, Prague, Warsaw, Belgrade and Zagreb (to help the liberation fighters). Finally, control was to be established over Denmark, Saloniki and Rhode Island.2 With this clear Anglo-American imperialist agenda the class consideration was always present in anti-fascist warfare and the Soviet Union as the most progressive social force had to show the greatest of diplomatic skills to handle these contradictions in a way that would not jeopardise the main cause - the defeat and annihilation of the fascist aggressors.


Within five years of occupation the German fascists in Poland alone killed six million people, i.e. 25% of the total population. 64% of the industrial plants (10,200 in numbers), 2,677 hospitals, 6,000 schools, 3,337 museums and theatres, 300,000 buildings in cities and more than 450,000 in villages were destroyed.3

The Polish resistance movement was essentially split into two major groups. First there were the feudal-bourgeois reactionary forces (members of the Polish "Pan", i.e. feudal landlords), represented by the Polish government in exile, based in London, which in turn was represented by the so-called "Delegatur" in Poland and its own army, the "Armija Krajowa" (AK) established in February 1942 under the leadership of reactionary generals such as Bor-Komorowski.

Second, the anti-fascist democratic and revolutionary forces, which united in July 1944 in the "Polish Committee of National Liberation" (PKWN). This Committee consisted, among others, of the (communist) Polish Workers Party which had been founded in 1942, together with its own army named "Gwardia Ludowa" (GL), and which at the same time was the leading force of the people's army "Armia Ludowa" (AL). Furthermore there were the Polish Socialist Party, the Polish Peasants Party, the Democratic Party and non-party members that joined the people's front. The program of this broad front was to subject the big industry, banks, trade and transport enterprises to state administration, further to return private property to citizens, peasants, traders, craftsmen, small and medium-sized companies and to the church who had been expropriated by the German occupants. These were the necessary bourgeois-democratic demands.

The PKWN acted in close connection with the Red Army. The Soviet Union regarded the PKWN as the only legitimate power in Poland which took over complete control in the liberated territories. The "Delegatur" of the exile government, however, fought the PKWN vigorously and did not refrain from killing its partisans. They also killed Soviet soldiers and officers and committed acts of sabotage in the Red Army's rear.

The most fatal act of sabotage, however, turned out to be the so-called Warsaw uprising which was organised together with the government in exile, based in London, and with the consent, and secret support, of the British government. Plan "Burza" paved the way for an insurrection against the fascist occupiers twelve hours before the arrival of the Soviet troops in Warsaw with the aim of presenting the Polish government in exile as the legitimate government of Poland. In fact the Red Army still had to cross the Weichsel which required a lot of military effort.

Marshall Rokossowski, commander-in-chief of the First Byelo-Russian Front remembers: "The timing was so inconvenient that it seemed the rebellion was intentionally instigated to let it fail. At this time the 48. and the 65. armies fought 100 km east and northeast of Warsaw … In the Western media I was accused of deliberately not supporting the Warsaw rebels and exposing them to destruction. This has to be said: The Byelo-Russian operation was without a precedent. The right wing of the front had overcome a distance of 600 kilometres. Our troops, after breathless battles, mobilised their last forces to solve the task set by the headquarters. The liberation of Warsaw [by the Red Army] … required a big offensive operation - which finally took place. However, in August 1944 we would not have been able to take Warsaw even as only a bridgehead without a huge amount of measures."4

The Soviet Union all the same did everything to support the civil population involved in the Warsaw uprising as far as possible. "Stalin talked to me directly about this problem. After my report on the situation at the front and all issues regarding Warsaw, Stalin asked whether the troops at the front were in a position to launch an immediate operation to liberate Warsaw. When I replied in the negative he asked me to do everything to ease the plight of those involved in the uprising." (ibid)

Rokossowski commanded Soviet troops to land on the Western bank of the Weichsel, however, they were not able to get in touch with the leaders of the uprising. Afterwards it turned out that the units of AK (Armija Krajowa) had withdrawn into the inner city before the landing of the Soviet troops. In view of this, it is not surprising that the Soviet troops, unable to get the cooperation of General Bor-Komorowski and his forces, found themselves in a difficult situation and had to stage a tactical withdrawal, thereby putting paid to the planned intervention. It was not until 1944/45 that the Red Army liberated Poland completely at a cost of 600,000 killed Soviet soldiers. On 5 January 1945 the Soviet government entered into diplomatic relations with the "Provisional Government of the Polish Republic" which had been established by the PKWN on 12 December 1944.

Poland is a significant example of how class contradictions determined the course of the war. Because of bourgeois class egoism the number of victims in Poland amounted to 200,000 in the course of the failed Warsaw uprising alone from 1 August to 2 October 1944. It revealed an open alliance between the national-reactionary forces and imperialist class interests in the form of the British bourgeoisie who, though a "partner" of the Anti-Hitler coalition, did not miss an opportunity to support the most reactionary forces with their own anti-Soviet agenda, against the democratic-revolutionary forces which were in turn supported by the Soviet Union.


In Bulgaria there was a strong revolutionary democratic movement headed by the Bulgarian Workers Party under the leadership of Georgi Dimitrov, general secretary of the Comintern from 1935-1943, and Wassili Kolarov. From 1942 the movement was organised in an anti-fascist "Patriotic Front" with members of all classes of the Bulgarian society. The aim of this alliance was to pull Bulgaria out of the fascist coalition, to liberate Bulgaria from the German fascists and to get Bulgarian occupation forces withdrawn from Yugoslavia and Greece; furthermore it aimed at the overthrow of the Bulgarian monarchist-fascist dictatorship and the fight for bourgeois-democratic rights, a democratically elected government which would enter into friendly relations with the Soviet Union.

From 1943 this struggle against the dictatorship was lead by a well organised partisans' movement with partisan troops which developed into a peoples liberation army of 28,000 fighters by the summer of 1944. The ruling clique on its part got into contact with the Western allies while at the same time providing shelter for the German army withdrawing from Romanian territory and the German navy in Bulgarian ports, thus jeopardising her neutrality obligations towards the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union forced the Bagrjanov government to step down for its violation of neutrality the succeeding Murawiev government, however, continued this policy and let the German South-Ukrainian army withdraw to Bulgarian territory after its defeat in Romania.

Dimitrov's partisans acted in close coordination with the Red Army. They could build on the traditional friendship between the Bulgarian and the Russian people.

After a meeting with Stalin on 27 August 1944, Dimitrov passed a directive to the central staff of the liberation army to mobilise all the forces of the people to disarm German fascist groups including the Gestapo, to break any resistance against the Patriotic Front and the Red Army and to install a government of the Patriotic Front. After the Third Ukrainian Army crossed the Bulgarian border on 8 September it was supported by the synchronised offensive of the peoples liberation army on the night of 9 September 1944 in Sofia. The Bulgarian people, as well as Bulgarian soldiers and officers of lower rank, welcomed the victorious Soviet troops with boundless enthusiasm, thus forcing the Bulgarian high command against the idea of fighting against the Soviet troops.

However, Major General Marinov, commander-in-chief of the Bulgarian army, was unexpectedly visited by a group of British and American officers on 17 September who claimed control of a Bulgarian airport and a port where British ships were allegedly expected to anchor. General Marinov immediately contacted General Birjusov from the Soviet high command in Bulgaria who told the British and American officers that "their help was not needed". Though militarily absolutely correct, Molotov criticised this reaction as diplomatically inadequate. They should have politely advised the British and American officers to direct such questions to Moscow.5 As a consequence, there was a further meeting with Stalin on the subject, who advised his generals on the basics of international law and diplomatic rules that apply in contact with representatives of foreign states. Stalin also gave orders against the arbitrary arrests of pro-fascist elements in Bulgaria. All the so-called infringements that the bourgeois media are never tired of complaining about were forbidden and punished on Stalin's instructions.

The liberation of the Bulgarian people took place without a bloodbath such as in Poland as the peoples' progressive forces acted in close unity and coordination with the Red Army.


Romania was also of great importance for the Western allies, especially Great Britain. With the so-called Balkans strategy Churchill wanted to first crush the fascist troops in Romania in order to further advance to Bulgaria and Yugoslavia and thus forestall the Soviet Union. Like Hungary, Romania was a fascist satellite and a German ally. In the course of the Red Army's victories, however, the Romanian army was in disarray as many soldiers and low-ranking officers deserted to the Red Army and joined the fight against the German fascists. Bourgeois and monarchist generals on their part tried to conclude a separate peace with the Western allies and, when this failed, to secure the withdrawal of German troops and diplomats.

An important role was played by the Communist Party of Romania (CPR) which combined the struggle against fascist occupation with the fight against the Romanian landlords and the bourgeoisie which had been supporting the fascist dictatorship of Antonescu. Together with the Social-democratic Party, the CPR founded the "Workers United Front" in April 1944 which was opened to the progressive bourgeois parties in June to form the "National-democratic Bloc". On 23 August 1944 the CPR gave the signal for the rebellion and started the armed battle against the German troops. Out of 8,000 fighters the CPR provided 2,000 from its own ranks. The Red Army supported this anti-fascist struggle and waived all territorial claims except the re-integration of former Bessarabia (Moldavia) into the Soviet state. It helped to gain back Transylvania which Hitler had handed over to Hungary.


Czechoslovakia emerged from the defeat of the German Kaiser-reich and Austria-Hungary in 1918 as a sovereign state. To direct German fascist aggression against the Soviet Union, France and England approved in the Munich Agreement of 1938 the annexation of the "Sudeten-German Territories". Following Munich, fascist Germany marched into Sudeten Territories and subsequently occupied the Czech part militarily and, by cruellest terror, turned it into the protectorate "Bohemia and Moravia". Regarding Slovakia, Germany entered into a "Security Agreement" with the clerical-fascist government of Tiso which allowed the German fascists to run military plants and to interfere in Slovak foreign policy. Occupied Czechia, as well as former Czechoslovakia, was represented by a government in exile under the left-wing bourgeois Benes located in London.

The Slovak army was split. Many soldiers and even officers openly deserted to the Red Army, whereas the rest supported the Tiso government. Furthermore, a Czechoslovak army was set up in the Soviet Union to restore the unity of the country and to fight side by side with the Red Army.

A resistance movement was formed under a broad anti-fascist alliance headed by the Slovak Communist Party and in close coordination with the Red Army, the exiled Czechoslovak Communist Party located in Moscow, and the Ukrainian staff of the Soviet partisans movement. The struggle was aimed at the liberation from fascist occupation as well as against the landlords and the bourgeoisie. On 29 August 1944 an uprising took place in Slovakia with partisan troops amounting to 16,000 - to coincide with the rebellions in Warsaw and in Sofia. During September 1944 the rebel army swelled to 60,000 fighters within the liberated territories, among them prisoners of war and antifascists who could flee from the fascist concentration camps. The liberation army was supported by the Soviet airforce with weaponry, food and medicines.

Benes on his part as representative of the Czech bourgeoisie expected the US troops to liberate the Western part of Czechoslovakia to forestall the Red Army. Within Slovakia he wanted to prevent a real people's rebellion. He therefore, with anti-fascist, however ideologically bourgeois, generals and officers of the Slovak army, initiated a separate "people's" rebellion. As the Czechoslovak government in exile, based in London, was an ally of the Soviet Union, Benes could gain the support of the Soviet First Ukrainian Army to meet the Slovak troops in the Carpathian Mountains where at the same time the German fascists had built strong defences. However, owing to treachery within the Slovak army, the Slovak divisions were disarmed by the German fascists. As a result, the Red Army, hand in hand with the partisans and the Czechoslovak exile army, under the leadership of Ludvik Svoboda, who was later to become the president of CSSR, fought against the fascists without any assistance from the Slovak army - emerging finally victorious in autumn 1944.


In Yugoslavia already in 1942 a regular peoples liberation army emerged from the partisan troops, amounting to more than 400,000 (!) soldiers. At the 1943 Teheran conference, Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt accepted it as an ally to the anti-fascist alliance with a provisional government in the form of the National Committee for the Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ). However, there were problems of armament. The army depended on rifles taken from the Italian and German enemies whereas artillery, mortars, tanks and aircrafts were not available. The Red Army was strongly involved in the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk and thus could not deliver any significant support. Only in September 1944 could Tito officially ask Stalin for the Red Army to invade Eastern Yugoslavia. This was the moment when the Red Army and the Yugoslav peoples army marched side by side, notwithstanding severe problems of class struggle within and outside the country.

The official government in Yugoslavia was still the monarchist government in exile, based in London, which, siding with the German and Italian fascists, openly fought the liberation army. There were some 270,000 Cetniks and Croatian fascist Ustashis who literally drowned the Yugoslav population in a bloodbath. The German High Command, on the other hand, was after Tito who was finally transferred by the Soviet Union to a place at the Romanian border in the dead of night. Stalin's policy showed a great amount of sensitivity in this connection. Because of its obligations to her allies and the still approved Yugoslav government in exile, the Soviet Union had to tread carefully so as not to jeopardise the anti-fascist alliance. In a careful balancing act, the Soviet Union on the one hand sheltered the peoples liberation army of Yugoslavia, and on the other hand asked Tito to delay the fight for the abolition of the monarchy until the successful liberation of Yugoslavia from fascist occupation. By way of courtesy and respect for Yugoslav national feelings, the Red Army officially invaded Belgrade on 20 October 1944 side by side with the Yugoslav army, in spite of the latter's much smaller strength. The Yugoslav infantry was brought by Soviet tanks and lorries into Belgrade.

The Yugoslav example again demonstrated how the class contradictions and class alliances affected the course of events. On the side of the proletariat the Soviet Union stood together with the Yugoslav liberation army, on the side of the bourgeoisie the Yugoslav exile government allied with fascist Ustashis and Cetniks against the Yugoslav people.


On the initiative of the Communist Party of Greece anti-fascist forces united already in September 1941 in a national liberation movement. Under the party's leadership the partisan troops developed into the National Peoples Liberation Army (ELAS). By the middle of 1943 it had liberated one third of the Greek mainland from German fascists. In March 1944 the Political Committee of National Liberation (PEEFA) was founded and during elections received the votes of 80% of the Greek electorate. England suspected the preparation of a socialist change and forced the PEEFA into a common government together with the government in exile, based in Egypt, which was under the leadership of the social-democrat Papandreou. As a "compensation" the PEEFA was offered 25% of the seats within the government, i.e., a clear minority.

In spite of this blatant interference in internal Greek matters ELAS was successful in completely liberating Greece from the fascist occupation by the end of 1944. This was the time when England took the offensive and destroyed ELAS by force of arms after it had occupied the police stations in Athens. Churchill openly claimed responsibility for the crushing of ELAS in his memoirs:

"... I interfered in the handling of this subject. When I learnt that the communists had occupied nearly all the police stations in Athens and to a great extent killed policemen not in accordance with them, while at the same time being only more than one kilometre away from the governmental buildings, I gave orders to general Scobie and his 5,000 British soldiers - who had been cheered by the population as liberators just ten days earlier - to intervene and to fight the betraying aggressors by force of arms. It does not make sense to do such things half-heartedly. The violence of the mob with which the communists wanted to take the city to present themselves to the world as the desired government of the Greek people could only be met by guns. There was no time to invoke a cabinet meeting."6

Britain frankly revealed its imperialist interests. With the fall of Greece into socialist hands a geo-strategically important bridgehead would have been lost for imperialist post war strategies.

The Partisans on the Western Front

By way of concluding, we will have a look at the partisans movement on the Western front, especially in France and Italy.


General de Gaulle did not accept the capitulation of his country and General Petain's collaboration with fascist Germany in the Vichy government. Already, on 23 September 1941, he founded the national committee "Free France", became commander of the "Free French Army" and opened the national committee to the "French National Liberation Committee" which also included the Communist Party of France. Objectively de Gaulle represented the progressive section of the bourgeoisie who entered into the anti-fascist struggle. With a small army of only 7,000 soldiers he managed to receive the status of an ally of the anti-Hitler coalition and could take part in the post-war decisions of the victorious powers.

The significance of the French Résistance for the battles on the Western front is described by Peter Gingold, one of the most famous German communists who was a fighter in the ranks of the French resistance and who escaped from the clutches of his violent torturers after imprisonment in a concentration camp, by the following words: "The military contribution of the Résistance to smash the Wehrmacht [German fascist army] was enormous. More than a million soldiers and officers of the fascist armies had been put out of action. 25,000 military trains were destroyed including a big amount of military equipment. Movement of the troops of Hitler's Wehrmacht in Normandy were interrupted for days when the allies finally succeeded in building a bridgehead. This significantly contributed to the extension of the bridgehead and enabled the fast advance of the allies. 'The French Résistance spared me 20 divisions', General Eisenhower once declared, then Commander of the Allied Forces at the second front in the West."7

The French Résistance really was an international liberation movement in which Armenians, Germans, Italians, Yugoslavs, Austrians, Poles, Romanians, Russians, Spaniards, Czechoslovaks and Hungarians fought together against the fascist beast.


In Italy, ally of fascist Germany, the first aim of the resistance movement was to overthrow the fascist dictatorship. A palace revolution on 26 July 1943 only replaced Mussolini by the so-called "Slaughterer of Abyssinia", Marshall Pietro Badoglio. Fascist Germany reacted by occupying Northern and Middle Italy and the re-installation of Mussolini's government as a puppet regime in the occupied part of the country. A Committee of anti-fascist allies formed the Comitato di Liberazione Nationale (CLN) which called for armed resistance. First, partisan troops emerged which developed within months into a strong army. Since the anti-fascist alliance under the leadership of Luigi Longo (member of the ECCI of the Comintern) and Togliatti (leader of the Communist Party of Italy - PCI) also included monarchists, the PCI could, as a tactical manoeuvre, force the partisans in the occupied territories into an alliance with monarchist soldiers and officers and delay the fight against the monarchy at this stage (see situation in Yugoslavia).

In March 1943 the fascist government under Mussolini received its first heavy blows in the huge strikes of more than 100,000 workers in Turin and Milan. These were the first remarkable strikes in a fascist state. When the allied armies took Rome on 4 June 1944 the King had to step down and Badoglio had to be dismissed. The CLN received governmental power in Northern Italy and the remaining liberated regions. On 7 December 1944 official relations between the partisans army and the Anglo-American Command where established by the "Rome Protocol". The partisans army had grown, by the end of the war, to 256,000 fighters with the PCI providing the biggest contingent of 155,000. Within the liberated regions partisan republics emerged in which the CLN under communist and socialist leadership initiated anti-fascist-democratic changes.

In Italy as well as in Germany the successes of the partisans were finally reaped by the Western allied forces, i.e. Anglo-American imperialism. They, of course, sought by all means to prevent the liberated countries within their sphere from taking a socialist development. Another story which is well known to the reader …

Honour and glory to the Partisans

The brave battles of the partisans on the side of the most progressive social force, the Soviet Union, made a significant contribution to the anti-fascist victories in the Second World War against fascism. In fact the partisans were the real second front which was denied for so long by the Anglo-American 'allies' and finally only opened to harvest the crops sown by the blood of the Red Army and the partisans. In the words of Le Combat, the newsletter of the French Résistance:

"From the Northern Cape to the frontiers of the Pyrenees, from the Channel coast to the Aegean Sea, millions of people, whatever their habits and languages may be, are standing in the same battle against the same enemy, in the fight of freedom against slavery, justice against injustice, right against violence. We are witnesses of a miracle emerged from blood and tears. The miracle of resistance."8

We know the material basis of this miracle: the Soviet Union, which, under the leadership of the Bolshevik party, and its undisputed leader Joseph Stalin, mobilised everything to emerge from medievalism to a most modern, industrialised country in the most progressive society mankind had ever created; mobilised everything to fight the German fascist aggression and to help every country and resistance movement to liberate itself from the fascist yoke; mobilised to finally achieve a victory unparalleled in the history of mankind and an irreversible basis of any new attempt to overthrow the rotten, moribund and decadent system of imperialism!


1. Directive of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR and the Central Committee of the CPSU dated 29 June 1941 (excerpt): "In the occupied territories partisans and diversion squads have to be established for the battle against units of the enemy's army to unfold a partisan's war everywhere, to destroy bridges, streets, telephone and telegraph connections, to burn down supply depots etc. Within the occupied territories unbearable conditions have to be created for the enemy and his supporters, they have to be persecuted everywhere and destroyed, all their activities shall be jeopardised."

Resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU dated 18 July 1941 (excerpt): "We have the task … to create a grid of our bolshevik illegal organisations to lead all activities against the fascist occupiers … To extend this battle behind the German troops with the greatest of efficiency it is necessary that all leaders of the Republic's, territorial and regional committees of the party and soviet organisations take over the task themselves with immediate effect." (Deutsche Chronik [German Chronicle] 1933-1945, 2nd Edition, Verlag der Nationen [Publishing House of the Nations], Berlin (GDR) 1981, p. 414)

2. Ulrich Huar: "Stalins Beiträge zur marxistisch-leninistischen Militärtheorie und - politik - Kooperation und Klassenkampf in der Antihitlerkoalition 1944" [Stalin's Contribution towards a marxist-leninist Military Theory - Cooperation and Class Struggle within the Anti-Hitler-Coalition in 1944], offensiv, 8/2004, p. 16

3. Antipenko: "In der Hauptrichtung" [In the main direction], Moscow 1971/Berlin 1977, p. 216, quoted in Ulrich Huar (ibid.), p. 15

4. Rokossowski: "Sodatenpflicht. Erinnerungen eines Frontoberbefehlshabers" [Soldier Duties. Memories of a commander-in-chief], Moscow 1968/Berlin 1971, p. 341.

5. Schtemenko: "Im Generalstab" [Within the general staff], Vol. 2, Moscow 1973/Berlin 1985, 3rd Ed., p. 169

6. Winston S. Churchill: "Der Zweite Weltkrieg" [The Second World War], Frankfurt/Main, 2003, p. 1007 (translation from the German edition)

7. Peter Gingold: Vom Widerstand zur Befreiung" [From Resistance to Liberation], Marxistische Blätter, Vol. 2, 2005, p. 33

8. Quoted in: Peter Gingold (ibid.)

The Krakow Reports--Acting in a Theatre of War -- by Mick Collins, CM/Paris

[Here's the CM/P reportage from Poland—the whole story--or one particular end of the whole story of the Krakow production of 'Warsaw Rebuilds!', by Josh Crone, with it's curtain-raiser, 'Above and Below', by John Steppling.

I was in pretty bad shape—on most levels—when I arrived in Krakow, so some of my reactions can be assigned to leaving the comforts of the West, with its Club Med(ication) consciousness. But I would certainly never apologize for anything that I wrote about anything or any one--and stand behind the history and politics expressed below—even most of the characterizations—164% (nb: see below for significance of this figure).

I became so concerned that my friends would think I was trashing them, wantonly, that I changed all their names to initials—thought that might give it all a real EEuropean, even Kafkaesque flavor. But all the people involved in this production and these reports will know who they are and will always remain my very dear friends and, though some would heartily object to the term, my comrades.

It was funny how at the beginning of every show, The Internationale would be played. I wondered how many in the house knew what they were hearing—or even had an idle thought about it? But I always got a warm glow as I listened to this great anthem—and warmth was what I needed most, standing in my y-fronts in the frigid backstage of the Loch Camelot's cellar theatre in Old Town Krakow.

I was never really cold the whole time I was out there—though the last days the whole place was covered in snow. I had a big electric fire in my loft bedroom, a goose down comforter the size of a boa constrictor that had just swallowed a baby hippo, and always plenty of good chicken soup to fight off the chill. But the best warmth came from the care and concern of the good people who hosted me and always gently deferred to my aged opinions and served my every whim and wish. I tried not to abuse their generous hospitality—and I hope these reports will be seen, over all, as testiment to the goodness of people who find themselves in difficult, unto impossible political and moral situations. Of course, I know I'm being judgmental, but that's one of the happy perks of blogging during the Final Days.

I'd like to call it all an experiment in Acting in a Theatre of War. –mc]

Krakow Report 25 October 2005

Dear gang,

Another dark Tuesday, I'm afraid. S is trying to extort yet more money from these kids, the playwright and his girlfriend who are putting me up, and putting up with me, rather well. He says, what he said just 4 days ago, that he can't come to rehearsal unless somebody, he doesn't particularly care who, gives him some more money. Well, J, the playwright, thinks that perhaps we could just go on without S. After all, his name's on the poster by now, and if the show succeeds he's got all the reputation enhancement he might have hoped for in order to get him a job at the theatre school here. But he's playing havoc with the show's morale, and mine as well. I take it kind of personally, his constant jacking up of the production, since I came out here in answer to his call and his advice to me when I asked about where money might come from was that I should 'work for it'.

Then, as if that's not enough rain for one day, the Englishman playing the young man just phoned to say his father had died and he has to fly to England Thursday and is now looking for flights, so not to expect him at rehearsal. I was so discouraged I did the dishes. Then J asked me if the show had to be postponed one week would I be able to stay. What could I say? I came all the way out here—for no money—to DO this show. You know, the show must go on.

If S's constant need for rather large sums originates where I assume it does—where it always has originated, since I've known him—then I have to feel sorry for him—along with everyone else—and I feel grateful that I have, however temporarily, remove myself from that sort of compulsion. I'm not far enough removed to be smug—yet.

So I told J that my return ticket on the bus was open and that I thought my family would understand. I'm afraid my whole scene in Paris, job, bank, telephones, internet, will already have been ruined, so one more week will only be a hardship on Bettina and Max because she's working and he's going to school and will have to stay late in the garderie for one more week.

But none of this has been confirmed—that is to say, it is still not certain that the show, even with all the sponsorship, photos, publicity, and theatre booking that has already gone down, will ever open. But it's hard to imagine that 22-hr bus ride back to a ruined Paris without actually having performed the show I came out here to DO. More as it mishappens. –mc

PS-17.30: Well, S showed up long before the other actor—who was an
hour late and didn't say a word about it. The rehearsal, as usual, was fraught
with digressions from S (and me), but it went on—until J went off to
the American Embassy to look for money (sponsorship). Then more digressions until the late-actor just gave up and said she wanted to go home. The actor whose father died turns out not to be a problem—so no longer is a weeklong extension of my stay anticipated. But I lost my house keys and couldn't get down to the internet cafe here for about an hour. All's well that ends well, as Wild Bill would say—though S was heard cracking on the young woman for money yet again as they left me behind keyless. More as it rains in on us. –mc

Krakow Report 27 October 2005

Dear acrobats, clowns, jugglers and freaks,

The circus keeps pushing along through the dark Polish woods. The US embassy stiffed us—not giving out any grants at this time—check back later—like when the show's soundtrack CD goes platinum. The rehearsal yesterday was solid, much got done—some of it causing interesting outbreaks of tension between the writer and the director and the cast. But, I think, that always adds to the spirit of the show. Should the characters kiss here? How tender is this night? Well, if you know S, you know how much he likes tenderness and stage kisses—and I'm just a kinda S clone, so I had homeboy's back most of the afternoon. After all, he'd actually paid for coffee this day—from McDonald's, but still . . .

I'm still confining myself pretty much to the tram route, the #1 tram, between where I'm staying (Salwator), and the old city (internet cafe, theatre and Kebab joints). I had a feeling I'd spend the night home all alone last night, so I caught a Kebab AND a Sprite and a couple Mars bars for dinner (lunch and probably breakfast too). I can see if I were single—not even 25 years younger, but just without a home and family back in Paris to worry about—and I weren't such an inveterate socio/politico/historical compulsive complainer (I mean, I've found the GI bill students, the trust fund students, the Soros NGO students, I've even found the OTPOR: but where are THE LEFTIST STUDENTS—like the SDS, PLP, the Danny the Reds, the Red Brigadiers, the Direct Action Faction?)—then this would be a most excellent adventure—even with the politics as kinda lobotomized as they are here. Oh, by the way, just got the web site for the show:


—check it out.

So J is out the door to deliver some more money to S—so he can go teach his class (and finally get paid) somewhere in the north by Warsaw.

—Saw a headline during my browsing through the internet on Polish history: Stalin Rebuilds Warsaw. Wonder what the expectations for 'Warsaw Rebuilds' will be?

J is quite concerned—not to say angry—about what S is doing to his play. Never having been much of a textualist, homeboy doesn't even carry a copy of the play into rehearsals. He is obviously trying to turn this thin and shallow little work into something from the darkest reaches of S-land—which, again, being a S clone, I don't find all that bad. The perversity of S's theatrical world has always been one of its great attractions. But when you ask this Marine what 'the sun also rises' refers to, he says the book of Ecclesiastes. As I've said: insipid and reactionary or not, I can't see my getting back on that 22 hour bus without having done this show.

And, as S has always done, my character is being made more and more squirrelly/interesting. More anon. –mc

Krakow Report 28 October 2005

Well, what are the chances? A second dead relative in the three-person cast? Again talks of pushing back the opening a week—but I have to be back in Paris to take care of Max the 24th and 25th—not to mention my crummy job! So, just more tension and bad feelings. And it's a beautiful day today, too. The young actress said her granny just died and she'll be back, 'optimistically', Tuesday. I love that! We open next Saturday and she 'might' be back Tuesday. Maybe she just wants to get away from S cracking on her for money.

So now we're down in this cave-bar where the bartender just gave us a couple cables to plug into the internet with—very savory, really. A capuccino and all the internet you can eat for I don't know what. But we had to meet the little actress whose granny just died—in Richmond, VA!—and who is flying off for wetfe. She was supposed to kick down some more money for the production. I was creeped by this meeting in the internet cave so I started to wander. When I'd wandered back to where J and the actress, E, were exchanging money, I saw her just bolt out of the bar with her violin case swinging. She didn't seem happy. But J was ok, so, I guess, I am too.

The actor returns from burying his father in England tomorrow or Sunday. If E gets back by Tuesday, we should be ok for Saturday's opening. Lots of tech to get down by then.

Guess I'd better send this and get out and about, see Krakow. Back at you guys directly. –mc

Krakow Report 29-30 October 2005

This is an attempt to reformulate the report I wrote last night and this morning, and then lost at the internet café in trying to send it out. So if it lacks the usual pop and spontaneity of these things, that’s why.

It never occurred to me that Halloween might have something to do with why these two young actors cut out of most of the last week of rehearsals. The eve of All Saints Day (the day of the dead) has always been a favorite celebration of kids and gays and all those who get off dressing up (so why not actors?). But it took me a long time to start suspecting that that might be the lure that hooked these two errant thesps into bailing on tech week and going off to bury their family members.

I’ve just never heard of actors behaving this way. In my experience actors and their families fully expect to place the show and the company above all other considerations. After all, didn’t Stanislavski create his ‘method’ to give the actor an itinerary, an emotional plan to follow in his characterization, just in case certain events—like the death of a loved one—should conspire to deprive the actor of the essential inspiration that fuels his performance.

And that plan is arrived at through rehearsals. These two kids seem content that they ‘have learned their lines’. Well, even in my dotage, I am happy to find that I, too, can still learn lines—I may not be able to remember, while making a sandwich, just what I’ve done with the mayonnaise jar, and then am very embarrassed when it’s pointed out that I’m holding it in my hand—but, as I learned long ago, knowing your lines isn’t worth shit if you don’t know your cues. And there really is no way to ‘memorize’ a show. Repetition (the French for ‘rehearsal’) is the only way I know to learn a show, to learn the geography and emotional micro-climates of a play.

These kids have bailed on the most important part of the rehearsal process—the tech work-thrus and dress run-thrus of that final hell-week are where the play is really discovered. And one of the great joys of theatre is that this final week of rehearsals is just the begining of the discovery process—it continues throughout the run of the show.

But all this talk of lack of commitment—combined with losing the original of this report—is just making my resentment of these kids more and more murderous. Otherwise, I feel good—I gave away the last of my detox medicine today and I’m just starting to find the fun in all this. I guess I used up all my dreads on imagined horrors, so now I have only faint and somewhat nostalgic memories of my Summer Stock nightmares (Lear?! I thought we were doing Richard II!) to push me alone through rehearsals.

S, the show’s ‘visiting’ director—that is to say, the show is occasionally visited by its director—decided that we should fire both these actors and I should do the show alone, with their lines recorded and played from the booth. But I told him if I was going to do a one-man show, I’d need a piano and harp accompaniment—and I’d also need to borrow some of Charles Pierce’s things.

But there’s not going to be much tech in this show, as we’re sharing the space with a half-dozen different Polish cabaret acts. And the idea of a four character show going up with three characters invisible (the dog, Graham, has been unseen all along) is just too far out even for minimalist me—so either the kids turn up when they say they’re going to—the English kid says he’ll now be back not Saturday (yesterday) but Tuesday night (leaving him just one full-cast rehearsal with S, who has to teach at the Natl Film School in Lodz {pro: Woodge, much to my surprise} Thursday and Friday), and E, who’s burying her granny in Richmond, VA, said she’ll be back Monday (tomorrow)—but given her usual loosely wrapped mental state, there’s no telling what a four-day trans-Atlantic aller/retour will do to the delicate balance that currently aligns her sketch-ball consciousness—either they come back and give their benighted, undercooked performances, or . . . or what? I’m just not getting on that 22 hour bus to Paris without doing a show in Krakow!

I can remember when I was in Margrit Roma’s New Shakespeare Co., doing Midsummer Night’s Dream in the parks of San Francisco and the Redwood forests of the North Coast—I was playing one of the quartet of young lovers, Lysander (‘A surfeit of life’s richest things the deepest loathing to the stomach brings.’), and the actress playing Helena, another young lover, didn’t turn up for the performance (Armstrong Grove, Guerneville, I believe), so we just all pretended she was there on stage with us and did the show without her. However, she had the decency and discretion never to return the company. And the audience, campers and bikers not particularly versed in the Bard, didn’t seem to miss old Helena one small bit—but then the show must have seemed in Polish to them.

I don’t know what to expect during the coming week—whatever it turns out to be, it better have a show at the end of it!—but I think the not knowing’s starting to be the most fun part of all this. Anyway, in the theatre is where I've chosen to live my life—so, let’s pull up our tights, grab our spears, and rock and roll. –mc

Krakow Report 3 November 2005, 9 :11 am

Well, they're back. And, I don't wanna say 'I told you so', but . . . : however they may have 'learned their lines', pouring over the script at 30,000 feet or in some out of the way cranny in their grieving households, they've no idea of their cues or of the shape and feel of the show. It was a tough one, yesterday's tech-, dress—or in my case, undress-rehearsal, as, yet again, S has my never-before quite so flaccid flesh on full display, wearing but y-fronts and a Guinea t-shirt for his curtain raiser, Above and Below. This is a two-pager about a man, disillusioned by the work-a-day world and venting his pickled spleen to a young, female avatar, as he sloshed down another Martini—or, maybe, in honor of Mickey Swenson, it's a Gib-Tini. Anyway, the theme is 'work kills you', and I find no disagreement with homeboy there. The rest of the evening, Warsaw Rebuilds, if the cues aren’t found and picked up, will take, literally, the rest of the evening.

And now, one of the actors is complaining about not being able to rehearse because he has to teach English classes—to paraphrase S’s petit overture, 'Teaching English kills you. Relentlessly, slowly and surely, it just kills you.'—but I think I'll let this youngster discover this, too, for himself.

Calls home reflect a kind of spreading ruination in Paris—like a flooded basement that is now seeping into the living room—and the feeling of impotence that grips me here in Poland is truly distracting—even sickening. But for Halloween, Bettina sent me pictures of Max in a very scary devil outfit that filled me with joy. He's so big and simply glows with his mother's beauty. As much as I miss them both, it made me very glad to see Max so healthy and happy—I guess a huge sack of bon-bons'll do that to a kid. (And this despite reports that he'd picked up some kind of nasty rash in Honfleur that might require medical intervention. –Though that rash would have been all too obvious in my curtain-raiser outfit—Max's very hiddy devil suit hid all very well.)

I've been forced into reading a good deal about Polish Communism and the general 20th Century history of this Catholic fortress against any rational socio-political order. It's breathtaking to see how feudalism's chief rampart against serf-revolutions continues to be unwholesome superstition. As Max in his red-haired devil mask, above the fur collar of his flight jacket, made me think of a tweaked-out Puritan minister, so do all these Poles, who cross themselves at every street corner and sit in rapt, gaping transcendence as the invisible trumpeter of Krakow blows . . . I-dunno-what-but-it-ain't-Hot-Lips-Paige's-Kiss-of-Fire, off the roof of the biggest cathedral in the town square—then suddenly stops in medias riff to duplicate the moment when a Tartar arrow pierced the throat of this ancient Polish early-warning system—they all remind me of Milton's 'hungry sheep (who) look up and are not fed.' And I guess some of them must have taken part in JP2's 1979 anticommunist Be-Ins. 'We Want God!', indeed.

But this feeling that if you join the cult all is understood, all is forgiven, has played hell with the art and literature scenes here, including, of course, the Theatre. A total absence of any historico-political rigor in creation or criticism (the favorite forms are fiction and poetry, where the writers can't really get it wrong, and any negative opinion is just another asshole's opinion) has left this culture like a piece of that meat the Tartars were so fond of noshing on: After slaughtering an animal (and this is the playwright's, J's story, really), they would prepare the meat by placing slabs of it between their horse and saddle and riding all day. The salt from the horse-sweat would cure the dead flesh and make it super-yummy. So has the fear of a wrathful, anti-communist (pro-business) god, reduced current Polish culture to under-done, sweaty-tasting meat.

Now it's speed-thrus followed by still more speed-thrus. Last minute cue-cramming. Kinda takes the fun out of discovery week—but, for me, there's still enough fun to keep turning up—like a turnip in the horse meat goolash that is Krakovian theatre.

Stay tuned for news of fresh disasters. –mc

Krakow Report 5 November 2005 (Opening Night)

So, at last it's come. It's come at last. The time we knew (hoped?) would come at last, has come, at last.

The last three days have been a kind of condensed 'hell-week': Early calls, long rehearsals—always interrupted by one or the other actor having to go off to do something remunerative or turning up late because of a décalage horaire. The tech, which has been a kind of one-man band operation conducted by the always capable (Sempre Fi!) playwright, himself, has continued to break into rehearsal and give a fragmented feel to the whole run-thru process. Until yesterday, the actors had no sense of the line of the show—the scene to scene sequence.

Hence, I'm not as comfortable with tonight's opening as I'd like to be—and certainly can't go about forgetting all the intricate micro-direction, much of it conflicting, I've received, so as to be able to enter the stage tonight with my mind blank—rather than preoccupied with turning the scribbled-over pages of the text in search of my next speech.

But this is, after all Poland: where, I am told, can be found installations in the US's secret gulag. One's at Szymany. And a huge military base at Poznan, where the US and Poland service their forces currently involved in the occupation and destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan—just to name the most prominent deployments—also offers aid and comfort to the US/Russian/Israeli meta-group that carries on the real business of the day—drug trafficking secreted through private military chaos. [See the latest posting to the CM/P blog by Peter Dale Scott] Interestingly enough, Baghdad, which was, during Saddam’s rule, more or less drug-free, is now overrun with Afghan heroin. Ah, progress!—in the trillion-$-a-year illegal drug business (more'n the oil/gaz and auto industries combined—again, see elsewhere on this blog!).

And yet with all this duty Poland pays to Western Imperialism, there is nary a sign, a symbol or a flag, reflecting the US domination of this country. Walking the back streets yesterday, while on a break, vainly searching the facades of international hotels and travel agencies, I finally discovered an American flag, a really big one—it was out in front of the US consulate in Krakow, and you could almost see the whole banner through the police cordons and barricades that have been thrown up around this outpost of imperialism. –I just remembered that, the other day, we were taking pictures for the show in a cafe across the street from the consulate, and some Polish policemen asked us to cease and desist for security reasons. Nice, huh?

Even US soldiers I pass in the town square can be distinguished from their Polish (NATO) homologues by their uniforms' being totally unadorned by any identification with the land of the free—no stars'n stripes patch, no 'US Army' patch, zip-a-dee doodle. The sense of denial here in young, happenin' Krakow—denial of political history, denial of the frightening superstitions that found their new, forced serenity—is so thick you'd have trouble cutting it with a starship-full of Lucas' light sabers.

So on with the show—or what's left of it: We've lost the Internationale from the overture, and, in a vain attempt to make some sort of sense of the politics of the piece—it continues to be two anticommunists arguing about . . . just how miserable is the working class—‘Warsaw Rebuilds' has gone from a substantial hour and a half to just under fifty minutes. The curtain raiser, S's ‘Above and Below’ (written to lure me from Paris to Poland), as well as all the sound of music, traffic and barking dogs, should bring the whole evening to just over an hour.

But, at least, I won't have to face that 22-hour bus trip home—and the bus leaves a day later than I'd anticipated—without actually having done this play in Krakow. –mc

Krakow Report 7 November 2005 9:11 am

'Warsaw Rebuilds', opened on Saturday and even had a second performance on Sunday, with one of five more reprises expected this Wednesday—so it's all good in the Krakow-hood. Not so, back home in Paris. I feel like a major putz for having said all I said about leaving (or coming back to) a 'ruined Paris'. My own self-importance, my miserable fear of financial misery, seems to have sprung to life in the form of a major campaign event kicking off the 2007 presidential run of French Interior Minister (and US neo-clone) Nicolas Sarkozy. Not having a car myself, I can't say the loss of 1000 cars from the impossibly clotted Parisienne circulation struck me as such a bad thing; but when Bettina, during her opening night 'merde' call, told me that she saw eight burned-out cars around Max's school, and that the rioters, who'd just torched the city hall in Bagnolet, the encampment next to our own (Lilas), were due to do some belated trick 'r treating on our very own rue Marcelle, I'm afraid that first performance of the play was more than a little distracted and even fraught with a most pathological form of homesickness.

Besides the riots, there was my gouty foot, the throbbing pain from which just exhausted me during the Bataan Death March of two—count 'em, two—run-thrus in the late afternoon before we opened. This punishment tour was ordered by our sometime-director because the show had made significant, if mostly remedial, progress in his absence the prior two days. So his directorial imperatives, as on the money as they might have been, were presented to a weary cast and crew with all the diplomatic subtlety of Sarkozy's calling for the 'cleaning out' of the immigrant 'rabble' and Muslim 'thugs' in the banlieue of northern Paris. Yet, unlike the riots, the whole contretemps between the aging-hipster director and the young neo-con trained killer of a playwright was more amusing than disturbing to the actors' flagging concentration, and the two plays went off like a couple games of 52 pick-up: all the cards got put back in the decks, though not necessarily in any predetermined order.

There was one particular gaff opening night that allowed me to seem not only quite fast on my gouty-geezer's feet, but also to inject the evening with a sense of popular history and philosophy that I had felt all along was sorely wanting in the young Marine's fairly reactionary piece: Expecting to receive a cue something in the order of 'being a 'Revolutionary' is not so much like being a 'Fascist' as it is like 'being a 'Terrorist'', which was to launch me into a brief philological riff on the distinction between those often confused terms; I was surprised, though not at all unhappy, to hear the young Brit say, in place of 'Terrorist', 'more like being a Communist'. This was the perfect set up for one of my favorite subjects: the mutual exclusivity of Fascism and Communism, which, since Hannah Arendt, have all too often been consider two sides of the same debased coin, Totalitarianism.

So I very quickly, if not all that sensibly or sequentially, said something like: 'You can't just lump these things together in your morally equivocating mind. Communist—these words mean things—Communists are essentially anti-Fascist, and Fascists are essentially anti-Communist. . . .' I've received much praise for this almost reflexive recovery, though none of these props seemed conscious of any sense of rediscovered historical or philosophical truth in my instant axiom. Well, . . . this is, after all, post-history and fully-hysterical Poland, the home of Christian anti-Communist 'black sites' (the secret anti-terrorist prisons [it is 'anti-Terrorist', right?] in the CIA's Goolash Archipelago) and massive NATO bases currently serving as aerial burial grounds for a flock of useless, irreparable F16s, duty for abandoning the Warsaw Pact for the Atlantic Alliance, and as transit hubs for the Meta-Group's trillion dollar a year drug traffic—while 30% to 40% of Poles, especially in the countryside, are unemployed and have to scavenger slag heaps for food to feed their pale, frail children, and coal to cook and warm their flimsy and frigid homes—and while we in Krakow enjoy 75 cent an hour internet cafes (24/7), Starbucks, McDos and English-language theatre.

—Late breaking: The reason the director couldn't make second night was that he was out of town visiting a group of Czech border guards that breed and train police guard dogs. This group, as a retainer for our erstwhile director's filming of a documentary on their work, gave Herr S one of their puppies, a young and comely bitch. Frau S, at the arrival of yet another beast to her household, pulled one of those 'the dog or me! You pick em—you flatulent old fuck!.' So, I've gotta get this report off to the cafe to get back here to greet the new dogski that's probably going to be bunking with me, I guess, like S’s late bulldog, (Boston) Blackie—what won't I do for theatre? Well, it is getting cold in Krakow, but still . . . –mc

Krakow Report 14 November 2005 9:11 am

Krak'ho'—I was going to file this report yesterday, Sunday the 13th (one too many Sundays in Poland), and it was going to be all about how 'Warsaw Rebuilds!' would never make it into the 'fun zone' because of all the troubles we've had getting everyone together for rehearsals--especially tech rehearsals—and the impossibly long intervals between shows (3 and 4 days between some performances!); but, for whatever reasons (primarily my usual lethargy over writing), I didn't. And, for once, this was a good thing. Because last night's show was actually kinda fun, well inside the zone—and the last three shows, Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday, promise to be the same. We've even gotten some good reviews—I think they're good, they're in Polish. (nb: This turned out to be one review by a friend of the writer, and it never made it into print.)

So despite the play's ahistorical, even anti-historical flavor—and its lip-synched (more like lickspittle) anti-communist politics, mostly unspoken because they're so unspeakable—after all, no one in the show's entourage has mentioned (and I had to read it in Le Monde) that Poland just installed a coalition government made up of two parties from the 'extreme Right', the ultra-Catholic League of Polish Families and the 'populist' Samoobrona (Self-Defense) Party, which threaten its young EU membership—despite all these less than scintillating seasonings, the play's turning out to be a pretty savory dish to perform.

And my attentions have also been distracted by certain geopolitical affairs that seem to impact Poland tangentially. Besides the 'Goolash Archepelago' of Rummy's 'black sites', there's the ubiquitous campaign to demonize Muslims and especially so-called Islamic fundamentalists, as either, for the Right, a murderous and expansionist lot of religious imperialists whose overriding passion is infanticide (i.e., Arab Terrorism), or, for the Limp-dick Left, as the hapless victims of unrehabilitated Stalinist genocidaires like Slobodan Milosevic or Saddam Hussien or Juvenal Habyarimana.

These two spells were cast my way at the internet café by two very dear friends: one's email was a report from Spain, from some sour-cream-filled nut bar named Rodriguez, about how all the Jews from all over Europe, along with their life- and Art- and Beauty- and Peace-affirming culture were liquidated down the road here at Auschwitz (you could almost hear his farts of relief at shaking off the onus of the Spanish Inquisition)—and that their places in European society were taken by the aforementioned murderous Muslims and their kebab-affirming culture (a few sandwich stands being the only signs of Muslim, mainly Turkic, influence in Poland today). And one should recall that rather than accepting Arab guest workers as much of the rest of the EU has done since the Sixties, Poland actually sent workers to Iraq and Iran—and that all military and drug-transit installations in Western, Central and Eastern Europe, the ME and Central Asia, are Judeo-Christian (NATO) rather than Islamic.

From the Left, and supposedly the crême de la crême of the intellectual Left, comes the ceaseless repetition, so unsupported by any real evidence that it can only be called an outright propaganda gaz bag, that the Bosnian Muslims, Alija Izedbegovic's jihadist legions that, between 1992 and 1995, turned BiH, that little arms and arts manufacturing gold mine, into a mini-Afghanistan, were the 'main victims of atrocities and massacres committed in Bosnia'. The inescapable implication of this ahistorical bullshit notion is that the main perpetrators of atrocities and massacres against the Muslims were Milosevic, Karadzic, Mladic and the rest of the yet unrepentant or unarrested Serbs. One really has to wonder what is in it (besides money, prestige and the codependent affections of other historical quislings) for these 'intellectual giants' to so sell-out their critical heritage for a mess of book deals. It's as if these gutless moral midgets don't dare treat the real historical record—my favorite acid test is, of course Rwanda, where none dares speak a single word of the US/UK/Israeli organized, armed and instigated genocide of 6 million+ in Central Africa and Eastern Congo—for fear that their editors will crank up their Thorazine dosages and take it out of the royalty checks.

And I was also distracted this Polish Independence Weekend, by the ICDSM conference in Belgrade that I was forced to miss (yet again) because of personal commitments. I did redact their 6-page Opening Statement, but despite a lot of last minute work on this, I have no idea if it made it onto the conference floor.

And then there was the situation back home in Paris: the riots quieted down a bit—I guess the Russian/Israeli mafia finally got the 'quality drugs' into the banlieue from Afghanistan, and the kids were finally able to cop a decent nod. But my family, Bettina and Max, have been having a bit of a rough go without me—and not at all because of all the new Hot Wheels in town. I'm only afraid that once I'm back, I won't be able to make things much easier. It's tough to face up to being 61 and having the most beautiful family in the world and not knowing what you ever did to deserve such a blessing or how you ever expected to maintain such a scene with a life as feckless, narcissistic and unremunerative as mine.

But, three more shows, another 22-hour bus trip, and I guess I'll find out. You have not heard the last of me. –mc

Krakow Report 17 November 2005—a time of great sadness

There is no aid or comfort in delusion, no safety in willful ignorance—and partial compromises with the historical record, like telling yourself the Soviets didn't really liberate EEurope from the Nazis, or that despite US/UK/Israeli/NATO brutality, Saddam and Milosevic and Kim Jong Il and Habyarimana were, themselves, brutes supported by peoples even less human than their leaders and, therefore, well deserving of extermination, quickly become full 'compromissions' that get you a little pregnant or give you a minor dose of the clap or an ever-so slight jones. When your nose is opened, when the neo-carnies put their mark on your back, you go directly onto that 6.6 second express elevator to the Thermite pits of molten steel, and the only question is how many will you take down with you, how many lives will be ruined along with yours.

Of current interest here at the Loch Camelot cafe/theatre, where WR! is staggering through its final two shows this weekend, is whether rehearsals are conducted in preparation for performances or vice versa. Catching up on lost rehearsal time is like catching up on lost sleep: just can't be done. And because of the tortured and self-indulgent negligence that afflicted its rehearsal process, this show has slipped into a kind of S'nM phase where inexperienced actors have come to depend on an only slightly more experienced writer/sub-director/producer/tech-operator and marketing-manager to punish them (like a mean old music teacher with ruler in hand) into a false sense of security about how they look out there in One. This kind of unwholesome theatricality has had all kinds of unwholesome repercussion in that most unreal world where 'real life' is lived here in Krakow, this giant Cathedral complex with adjoining Kebab stands and 24-hour internet cafes—a sorta off-campus Sorosian Galleria (1 in 8 Krakovians is a student).

While the actors, two or three hours before curtain—and ten or so hours into severe alcohol depravation from the previous night's cast party that wrapped in the wee small hours—willingly, even eagerly, submit to micro rehearsals at the whim of the genius of the evening, who seems intent on turning his play into his personal PlayStation, with constant adjustments of stage moments to fit his computerized light and sound patterns; the ordinary existence we all try to inhabit here becomes more and more chaotic and unmanageable, love and caring become suspect, work is degraded then discounted, and a kind of theatrical 9/11 begins to spread its destruction from house to house in Krakow—like 'Willy Pete' through Falluja. –Too many metaphors for one sentence, right?

What I'm trying to say here is only that at some point (usually pretty early in a short run like ours, if not directly after opening night) the auteurs must give the play over to the actors to perform. Certainly, adjustments can and should be made. But moment to moment changes, back and forth and back again, only serve to plunge the actors (and their performances) into a nightmare world of doubt and personal recrimination—they are encouraged from the beginning to internalize the play, then they are tortured with the uncertainty of ever understanding what it is they are expected to do. And so off-stage relationships are dissolved and replaced by impossible, DOA couplings founded on mutually re-enforced delusions of bourgeois mediocrity. To paraphrase a line oft heard around this production: These kids don't seem to know any better and they just don't care to find out.

But this 'Don't Know, Don't Care', attitude is not unique to WR! or Poland—though I have found it painfully characteristic of both. It has become all the fashion among the Zmaggots and CounterPunch drunks in the latest brouhaha over Bosnia revisionism. Used to be that one's position on Yugoslavia best identified one's credibility—intellectual, political, historical, even moral. Anyone who could find Bill Clinton superior in any way—but smarm, maybe—to GWB was obviously too dizzy from stepping over NYTimes op/ed pieces and smelling Bill's melodious, self-congratulatory farts to be taken seriously. But few intellects have been able to resist, much less survive the Clinton/Bush campaign of demonization directed against President Milosevic and the Serbs. After Roy Gutman, Ed Vulliamy, Penny Marshall (not Garry's sister 'Laverne', but the ITN hack who created the poster art for the New Serb Holocaust of the Bosnian Muslims) received prizes for their spurious reportage of 'Serb atrocities and massacres', the best the 'critical' Left could come up with was Chomsky and Diana Johnstone—neither of whom has ever recognized the injustices (including Cruise missiles directed into their residences) visited on President Milosevic and his whole family: Prof Chomsky chief objection to the practice of Military Humanism in the Balkans was that NATO was only slightly more brutal than the Serbs they were liquidating, and Diana actually supported the G17 in its USAID/CIA/Soros-backed putsch in Serbia 2000; and both continue to turn a blind eye to the enormous historical corrections being made every day by a severely health-challenged President Milosevic at The Hague. Why does all this simpering Liberal concern for torture never travel from Abu Ghraib and Gitmo into the very civilized confines of that old Nazi lock-up at Scheveningen where representatives of the Serb and Yugoslav people are regularly dogged to an untimely death?

The burning e-question being asked by reactionaries of every political salon (from Nazis to Trokzis) is did these Amerikan 'intellos', with their ever-so effete takes on the Paris riots (for a good analysis of the banlieue blues see my old pal Michel Collon’s 10 Questions), really deny the Srebrenica 'massacre' (here the quotation marks are to indicate that all the evidence would lead any self-respecting and self-critical public thinker to conclude there was NO MASSACRE OF INNOCENT NON-COMBATTANTS @ SREBRENICA). Some manish bihac at The faux Left Guardian contends that both Chomsky and Johnstone have repeatedly shown themselves to be deniers of the Bosnian Muslim Genocide; while these two Left anti-communists contend they never said any such thing, and that they are agreed that the Muslims were the main victims of (Serb) atrocities and massacres in Bosnia. (nb: The Guardian has since apologized for its interview and removed it from their web site.) —Gee, I wonder what the hundreds of innocent non-combatant Yugoslav victims, whose lives were terminated with extreme prejudice in 1993-94 by the BiH Army’s serial slaughterer Naser Oric, would think of this—or the tens of thousands of Muslims who found refuge from Imperialist violence being inflicted on all the people of Bosnia and Kosovo in Milosevic's own multi-cultural Serbia?

And then there's the next eccentric-KoolAid acid test—the geopolitical equivalent of the GRE: Where do they stand on the Rwandan Genocide? I used to call Rwanda, Yugoslavia in Spades—until I realized it wasn't really funny—so now I refer to that particular targeted nation as Yugoslavia in No Trump—but that's little better as nobody plays Bridge anymore, right. Even those who have weighed in more heavily than the two above-mentioned on Yugoslavia, thoughtful writers like Michael Parenti (To Kill A Nation) and Ed Herman (The Srebrenica Study Group), both of whom expressed to me, personally, an interest in finding out what really went on in Central Africa ca 1994, have been totally (to my knowledge) MIA on any English-language analysis of this predominantly French-language concern. So what's up with this highly selective (safe?) historical criticism? Who are these writers writing for? Who do these thinkers think they are?

I know here in Krakow all we're doing seems to be to the end of adding to the luxurious serenity of this over-privileged youth that finds its studies subsidized by that 30% of its countrymen who are unemployed and living off slag heaps. It just would not do to bring up history in a Krakow theatre or living room, no matter what language you brought it up in. But I guess we all work for those who pay us, and the bosses must be pleased or we'll all end up dining out in decommissioned coal mines and drinking dioxin-flavored water.

So no matter how disturbing unto disgusting it may seem—no matter how hard it is to see good people with little power cast into a valley of tears by their 'immediate superiors'—I guess the show must go on. –mc

Krakow Report 20 November 2005--Closing Night


So, here we are: Closing night. Last show goes on in about 4 hours. And I'm alone at the pad with the baby Czech guard dog, whose shits keep better time than my Swatch. And they're easier to find in the morning when I get up, too: always in the same two spots on the kitchen floor.

I was told that after tonight's show there'll be a little gathering at a karaoke bar—but karaoke reminds me of Mike Farkash, a dear, departed friend and fellow denizen of the zero-sum theatre, and I'm sad enough about Mike's passing without trying to sing in a South Korean accent.

It seems to me that English-language theatre in Poland doesn't stand much of a chance. And it may just be dead everywhere else, too: the story money today goes toward the mythological life-support of the moribund and murderous Wasting Class. Krakow is bourgeois to an obsessive/compulsive degree, and its so-called artists and intellectuals seem to be completely unaware of the fact that the owning and financial elite ceased to be the principality of true artists with Proust and Mann, whose self-criticism thoroughly ravaged that decadent and disease-ridden class—Poles and the ex-pats who lurk here seem to prefer the politico/historical obscurity of Joyce and Beckett to anything moderately resembling a critical analysis of History—but I've never before seen such an unseemly rush on the few pitiful openings for the positions of house nigger, court jester, or Gitmo guard, as I have in my short sejour in Poland. Pound for Pound—and Eliot for Robert Graves and Derrida for Heidegger—Krakow seems lost in a Weimar nostalgia without memory. Has no one here heard of Paul Nizan?

Our own play, WR!, is full of disdain for working people—except when bemoaning their decline and eventual demise as the result of work-related pathologies—and members of the cast and crew have even been heard to say that what someone does to reproduce his or her life is unimportant, realistically or artistically, and that people don't need to work, to have jobs, to live. This lot is the most toxic sort of trust-fund hippies—or loveys, as teabags refer to them. I'm going to leave this place the way I came in, alone on an overnight bus with a bunch of homemade sandwiches and a head-full of dread. Quite happy to get out, but not at all sure what awaits me in Paris.

And for all the jokes I made about having a rehearsal on the Monday after closing: it looks like we're actually supposed to run the show one more time before I leave so that it can be taped. I can't pinpoint when the power drinking first began to afflict our little theatre community, but I'll bet a carton to a pack it was the same time the show and the scene here started going sideways. But, hey, I didn't drink, so I'm all right, Jack.


So, at twenty to seven, the word comes down that we're to run the show for lines and tech cues. I couldn't handle this. I suggested that closing night might be a good time to run the show 'fresh', without trying to retrace the imagined footsteps of the perfect performance before giving what is, inevitably, an imperfect one. Spontaneity. That's the ticket! Like Sincerity, once he learns how to fake that, the actor's got this acting thing licked. So everybody grumbled and asked what they should do for the hour and a half before the final curtain went up, and, like, they'd've stayed home and watched TV had they known there wouldn't be a rehearsal—and I got all passive/aggressive with them, saying that I'd go with the group conscience and that it was just a suggestion to do the show without a run-thru (just consider last night's show and the several run-thrus that preceded it as sufficient prep for tonight)—but in the end the two kids ran their scenes without me, and I returned to my by-now familiar isolation and started what seemed to be a long evening of feeling bad.


Yeah, well. During the curtain call, we three stood on stage, holding hands, for a full ten seconds before the audience started clapping—weakly. Like they didn't know what to do. Fuck this town in its Catholic, anti-communist ass! –And feed 'em fish!

I had to get home to feed the dog. No karaoke for me. And all kinds of emotional baggage landed in the dressing room after the show: theatre has always been a refuge for the sexually ambiguous and morally damaged, but—goddamit, Emmet!—this show should be used to train people how not to waste their lives in the feckless pursuit of false history, political apologias for feudalism, and moronic poetry and delusional fiction. Someone should break down the differences between 'Philosophy' and 'Sophistry' for these kids.

I'd do it, but I've got a 23-hour bus to catch. . . . And I guess there may be one more of these reports yet to file. –mc

Krakow Report 25 November 2005—The End

It's been exactly one month since I filed the first of these Reports--25 October to 25 November. I'm not a numerologist or anything, but after the 25-hour bus trip back to Paris on the 22nd of November, my 61st birthday, the six weeks of doing WR! seem even less real than they did immediately after closing night—or after the next day's long taping of the show. (See, if you add up all the numbers in those last two sentences, it comes to exactly 164! Is that creepy or what?) But that's the way all these excellent adventures end up—the unreality of my geezer's memory (like the unreliability of the memory on my cell phone camera which refuses to display any of the photos I took in Poland) has degraded these events into a series of mere 'mayonnaise moments'.

The trip home was essentially sleepless—thanks to German and Polish (NATO) military interventions to confirm that all of us bus passengers were within our rights to make this arduous journey from the New EEurope to the Wild Old West, and that none of us was cutting into their action by smuggling something of real value—like Afghan heroin, coltan, or an electric kettle from Tesco's. God! There is just a plague of these (mostly French) grandes surfaces, huge department stores, interspersed with bunker-like small manufacturing plants, all along the major highways. And more cars and service stations than any once-rational socio/economic order could support. But, these days, rationality and ratios are the concerns only of 12 year old Polish math students.

And the difference in prices between Paris and Poland was enough to make me really nostalgic for the land of Catholic anti-communist sausage eaters; for what it cost me at my local boulangerie to buy a pain raisin, I could've had a half dozen of those very tasty cherry and cream-filled turnovers I'd gotten hooked on in Krakow. But Paris is still Paris—and I can't see any signs of the devastation wrought by the riots—my family is more or less in tact—though some were happier to see me than others. I just figured the riots, like the to-do over the 'foulard', the curious vandalizing (Swastikas tagged by Muslims or Skinheads or Zionist provocateurs?) of synagogues and Jewish cemeteries and the immediately debunked 'anti-semitic attack on the D train' earlier this year, are more of the Machiavellian machinations of Eliot Abram's State Department Office of International Religious Freedom and the Betar. It's all about replacing secularism with petty sectarianism, so as more easily to divert folks from considering their real enemy, the real sources of their dehumanization and eventual liquidation. Poland seems already well off into the twilight sleep of Catholic unconsciousness.

At first, the ruination I'd expected in my personal scene here in Paris seemed to have been postponed—I was able to buy metro tickets with my bank card. But after a closer look, the whole cabal of bankers and tax men were lurking just inside my mailbox, with their grubby, twitching fingers extended, only waiting for me to unpack. A few English teaching gigs have cropped up, but certainly not enough to feed the poodle—I continue to be offered English teaching jobs in Poland, but can't imagine teaching someone English without having any knowledge or sense of their mother tongue. Certainly plenty of people I know do just that, but I really don't know how.

I will miss everyone in Krakow very much—esp those I've written most harshly about--they were, all of them, at the bus station to send me off: no one knowing it was my birthday (save Steppling, maybe), but all treating me with the kind of exuberant, generous affection that one rarely receives even on special days. (Though it might've been, 'How can we miss you if you won't go away?', huh.) The bus was an hour and a half late leaving Krakow—which would have been bad enough, but no one—NO ONE!—not a single official at the well-out-of-the-way Krakow bus station even knew if there WAS a bus to Paris, or whether it might have already left and should be turned back, or, when and if it showed up, just where on this multi-level complex it would land and load—and just about the whole WR! company was there to calm me, help me schlep my bags from waiting-place to waiting-place (all agreed this kind of chaos was perfectly normal for traveling in Poland), and feed me bon bons and mandarin oranges and various yummy foody substances (and I finally finished Karina's savory sandwiches two days after landing back home—these sandos made my bus-time pass more lightly than a whole jar of xanax).

They are, and will always be, my very dear friends, and I will miss them much more than I'll miss their city or its political culture—and much more than they'll ever know. Next time I'll bring Max with me—and we'll do the whole thing up to the max. –mc