In a deja vu, it appears that the United States has been preparing the ground for a military invasion with thousands of troops rumoured to be massing in neighbouring Colombia. US National Security Adviser John Bolton sparked intense discussion on Monday after he was photographed carrying a note which appeared to read: “5,000 troops to Colombia” as he left a press conference. It comes days after US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham revealed that President Donald Trump had discussed the use of military intervention as imperialist powers ramp up their efforts to bring down democratically elected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
And the leftward shift in Europe is no electoral capriciousness or mere fickle-minded mood swing of the electorate. Rather, they are firmly rooted in the material conditions of austerity, not only in Europe but even to some extent in America. Ten years of austerity as a result of the Eurozone crisis has left the population reeling. Japan has been sinking under the weight of austerity for more than a decade.
Far from being the “war to end all wars,” the victory of British, French and Japanese imperialisms over German imperialism and the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918 helped set the scene for the Second World War. Fascism was, as Georgi Dimitrov explained, the open terroristic dictatorship of the most reactionary circles of finance monopoly capital, defending their system against socialism and communism.
Bolsonaro got massive support from big business interests, from right-wing evangelical Christian leaders and churches, and from sections of the military who, as he does, hanker after the days of the military dictatorship of 1964 to 1985, when military officers could steal, torture, and kill with impunity.
Relations between PM Wickremesinghe and President Sirisena have not been good. Their parties have been traditional rivals and they came together in 2015 for the sake of power. Sirisena was critical of investigations into human rights violations during Sri Lanka’s long civil war, which ended in 2009.