The Worker (Update), October 21, 2012
Published by the Workers Party, USA
P.O. Box 25716, Chicago, IL 60625
For the Independent Politics of the Working Class
Everyday the crisis of the current political system deepens. More and more people become fed up with the two big parties and the government and the workers grapple with the question of how to create a genuine alternative.
In this situation, tremendous pressure is being exerted against the workers' movement, trying to prevent a mass break-away from the two-party system, trying to prevent the workers from coming out as a class for themselves – coming out under their own class banners, with their own class aims and program. To work to assist and accelerate the building of a genuinely independent working class movement or to continue to create illusions in the present political set-up – this is one of the decisive questions of the day.
For example, the leaders of the AFL-CIO, as well as various opportunist political groupings, are once again picking up the chorus that the workers must accept the "lesser evil" and hope for the re-election of Barack Obama. The grave danger inherent in this view is not only that it covers up the real record – the deeds – of Barack Obama but also that it seeks to cover over the class character of the politics of both the Republicans and Democrats. What drove Barack Obama to increase military spending, slash social programs, militarize the border and triple the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan? Why is Obama so eager to collaborate in the Republican program of "free market" economics and of slashing social investments even more? It is not merely because Barack Obama is a particularly spineless politician. It is because both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney – like all the Democratic and Republican politicians – are representatives of big business. The politics of these two parties is the politics of using the state machinery to protect and expand the power and privilege of the monopoly capitalist class.
Those who reject the "politics of the lesser evil" are often attacked as "apathetic" and told that "if you don't register and don't vote, you have no right to complain." But, again, this view is only covering up an essential flaw in the current political process and political system. Of course it is good to vote, if there is anyone to vote for. But under the present system, it is nearly impossible for the people to have any say whatsoever in the selection and nomination of candidates. The two big parties have been granted almost a complete monopoly over the selection of candidates. Therefore, on election day, the only "choice" offered the people is between 2 candidates both of whom have been handpicked by big business and advertised by the monopoly-controlled mass media. We must insist that under this system, the people really do not have a vote at all – they are merely being asked to give their consent to a government and a political system over which they have no control.
The issue is not only that illusions are being created about the class politics of the Republicans and Democrats and about the way in which the present political system reduces the people to "voting cattle" giving their consent to the status quo. The root problem is that politics is defined in the narrowest possible way – in a way which not only confines the participation of the people but, in reality, denies the working class any political role whatsoever.
What is politics, really? Politics is the struggle between classes for state power. The state itself only emerged in history at the time when society became divided into antagonistic classes. The exploiting class erects a state – an absolute public authority – in order to insure its domination over the exploited, laboring masses and in particular to insure that the property relations on which its existence as a class depend are imposed on the whole of society. Today, in the U.S., despite all the propaganda concerning "democracy," the reality remains that the state system and the political process have been rigged up by monopoly capital as a means to protect its class rule and enforce the capitalist exploitation of the working class. Under this set-up, politics for the masses of people is defined, at most, as a way to "make their voice known" to the powers that be. In other words, the working class must always remain under the political tutelage and domination of the capitalist class.
The crisis and bankruptcy of the current political system and political process can only be overcome through the independent class politics of the workers. The aim of this politics is for the working class itself to conquer the political power, in order to make its agenda and aims, the agenda and aims of society as a whole – that is in order to build a society which abolishes the system of exploitation of human beings, guarantees the economic and other inviolable rights of the people and empowers the people themselves as the decision-makers and leaders of society.
Such a genuine working class politics opens the broadest possible arena for the workers and people to take part in the struggle to change society and advance their own class interests. Genuine working class politics can include workers selecting and running their own candidates for office when this is a useful means of advancing their interests. But independent working class politics does not confine itself to elections, nor does it accept the current electoral system, which has been rigged in favor of the 2 big parties of the capitalist class. Genuine working class politics takes up all forms of organization and struggle appropriate to advancing the interests of the workers and openly contending with the capitalists over the direction of society.
At this time some of the key fronts on which independent working class politics is developing include: the struggle of the workers to popularize their own program as widely as possible; the struggle of the workers to build up their own independent press as a means to popularize their agenda and equip themselves with consciousness and organization; the work to mobilize the broadest sections of people, through various means, to take up active opposition to the anti-social agenda of the capitalists. Through these actions, the workers are uniting their ranks and pushing their own aims and agenda to center-stage. At all times, this independent politics of the working class keeps in the forefront the goal of winning the battle for democracy, by constituting the working class (the overwhelming majority of the population) as the sovereign political power.
Precisely because the politics of the capitalists sidelines and excludes the workers and seeks to suppress the workers' independent aims and agenda, the crisis of bourgeois politics will only deepen. The task of the times is to assist in the development of the independent class politics of the workers – only this politics can truly inspire and mobilize the people and bring them to their rightful place as the decision-makers of society.
Rights and Government for Whom?
These days, even as the government is carrying out a broad-scale offensive against the American people, the politicians – Republicans and Democrats alike – never stop repeating such catch phrases as "getting government off the people's backs" and boasting of their commitment to "individual liberty" and the "sovereignty of the individual." Exposing the basis of these slogans is a necessary part not only of the immediate fight against the capitalist offensive but also in order to get at the root of things and open the perspective for the progress and renewal of our country.
The ideology of "individual liberty" and the "sovereignty of the individual," as espoused today by the Republican and Democratic party politicians is based on the political theory first enunciated by representatives of the capitalist class in the 17th century. According to this theory the state arises to protect civil society based on private property in the means of production. Such a state must guarantee the so-called "natural rights of man" (the most "natural" and fundamental "right" being to acquire and accumulate property) by treating all individuals as "equal before the law" and safeguarding various "civil liberties," i.e. the rights of individuals to participate freely in civil society. In other words, the concept of "individual liberty" actually translates into the right of the individual owners of property to accumulate more property and the idea of the "sovereignty of the individual" means the sovereignty of the individual owners of private property in the means of production, e.g. the capitalist class. The function of government – the state – is to insure that nothing interferes with either the liberty or sovereignty of the capitalists to conduct business as they see fit.
In fact, at the time of the founding of the American Republic in 1787, only male property-owners were considered part of the polity. It was never even imagined that those who did not own property – such as the indigenous peoples, the African slaves, women or a large percentage of the laboring classes – should enjoy "individual liberty" or participate in governance. Today, of course, the capitalist state has been forced, under the impact of the democratic movement of the people, to extend various civil liberties to the masses of the people. But the rights of private property in the means of production still remain as the very foundation of the political superstructure. As they have done for the last 300 years, today's ideologues of capitalism want to hide the fact that under capitalism the "individual liberties" and "freedoms" of the private owners of the means of production are predicated on the denial of the rights and freedom of the vast majority of the population.
Capitalism is a system in which the social property (including the tools and natural resources) created by the whole society over many generations are owned by a small number of private individuals. The capitalists, by monopolizing the very means required by the majority in order to secure their livelihood, are able to grab hold of fabulous riches by exploiting the labor of the workers. The workers, on the other hand, have no choice but to sell themselves, day in and day out, to the capitalist owners. Thus freedom for the capitalists to monopolize the means of production and exploit labor rests on the fact that the vast majority of the population have been reduced to the level of wage-slaves. Furthermore, the inherent and insatiable drive of capital to maximize profit places it in irreconcilable opposition to the needs and requirements of society as a whole. Attempts by society as a whole to protect the natural environment or guarantee workers a safe work environment, the struggle of the workers to restrict the "right" of the capitalists to hire and fire at will or increase exploitation to the maximum – all these things, are looked upon by the capitalist as just so many infringements on his/her "individual liberty" – on the sanctity of the rights of property. Thus when today's politicians insist that everyone must fend for herself/himself in the so-called "free market system," they are saying that society and the state only recognizes the "rights" of private property and that the people have no human rights which they can claim simply on the basis of their humanity.
The question that must be asked is: freedom and rights for whom? Is the capitalist to have unlimited right to exploit or does the working class have the right to live free of capitalist exploitation? Does society as a whole and the vast majority of its individual members have the right to a healthy environment or does the freedom of the capitalist to dispose of his property as he sees fit give him/her the right to poison the air we breath and the water we drink?
As for the catch phrase of "getting government off the people's backs," this is only further demagogy on the part of the Republican and Democratic Parties. As we said above, the present-day state arose to protect a civil society based on private ownership of the means of production – that is to protect the class domination of the capitalists and enforce the system of wage-slavery on the workers. And it is precisely this capitalist state which over the last 200 years has grown to gigantic proportions. It is also precisely this capitalist state – a state which protects the "free market system" and "enhances U.S. capitalism's global competitiveness" which the Republicans and Democrats are sworn to defend.
When these politicians rail against "big government," they are only demanding the abolition of the few regulations which big business is asked to comply with and the elimination of the few entitlement programs which the working people, through decades of struggle, have forced the state to recognize. Yet the politicians are not cutting back but rather enlarging the gargantuan military machine as well as the police forces. Yet more, in this era of monopoly capitalism, the politicians all agree that the state must play a direct and primary role in guarantying and increasing the profits of the biggest capitalists. While social programs providing a minimum of support for the workers are slashed, trillions of dollars in public monies are given to the capitalists in the form of interest payments, research and development grants, tax loopholes, lucrative contracts, etc. The privatization schemes, so much in vogue with today's politicians, are nothing but plans for turning even more public monies, as well as the national infrastructure and natural patrimony, over to the big monopolists.
Today's huge bureaucratic state, which accounts for 1/3 of the country's economy and which imposes the immense burden of militarism on the people, is more and more devouring society precisely because it is an organ of the capitalist class – an instrument protecting the special interests and privileges of the capitalists in opposition to the needs and interests of society as a whole. And it is precisely this primary function of the capitalist state – to protect private property in the means of the production – which the Republicans and Democrats want to perfect.
No, the problems facing the American people will not be solved by enhancing the "individual liberty" of the capitalist owners nor by strengthening the parasitic state which protects this system of capitalist wage-slavery. On the contrary, the problem is precisely to create a society which takes as its starting point guarantying the human rights of the broad masses of people. This requires creating a new political power which advances the general interests of society as a whole, as well as each of its individual members, and which returns sovereignty to the people themselves. These rights can be realized and this new power created only through unremitting struggle against the "rights" of private property in the means of production and against the capitalist state.
Whose Agenda for Education?
The elections are being used by the Democratic and Republican parties to promote their version of school "reform."
The Democratic party platform openly embraces turning over education to the "free market." The Democratic party boasts that as a result of Obama's education policies 46 states have made changes which would pave the way for school 'turn around' (aka charterization.) In the platform, the Democratic party outlines plans which would 1) dramatically increase the number of "charter schools" – schools funded by public monies but free from public supervision and 2) require mandatory, "high-stakes" standardized tests for students and close schools whose students perform poorly on these tests.
Obama's program is a direct attack on our public schools and the right of the working people to equality in education.
Charter schools take vitally needed funds out of the public treasury in order to create a few elite schools. These schools are often operated by private educational "entrepreneurs" and large corporations. Thus, charter schools are a step in the direction of privatizing the public schools and a means of intensifying the system of separate and unequal schools. While charter schools help the corporations train needed managers and technicians, the vast majority of students in working class and poor neighborhoods are condemned to underfunded and outdated schools.
Mandatory, standardized tests are another means for depriving the daughters and sons of the workers of their right to education. Repeated studies have proven that such tests not only fail to measure a students' achievement but that they discriminate against the workers and oppressed minorities. By using such tests to deny promotion and graduation, the government is denying students the right to pursue their education and putting a blight on their future. By slashing funds or closing down schools which perform poorly on such tests, the government is again undermining the schools in working class and poor neighborhoods.
In short, Obama's program will only intensify our country's dual school system – a system under which the rich receive the best possible education while the vast majority of working class children are denied their right to a modern education.
Just like Obama, Romney supports mandatory tests and charter schools. The Republican party platform calls for more "school choice – whether through charter schools, open enrollment requests, college lab schools, virtual schools, career and technical education programs, vouchers, or tax credits." In others words, the Republican party candidate also aims to privatize the public schools and undermine the rights of the workers.
In sum, both Obama and Romney are using the election campaign to push the preset educational agenda of the monopoly capitalist class. They are playing the usual con game on the public. While Romney and Obama argue over whose plan will be more effective, both advertise programs which aim to further dismantle and privatize our country's system of public education.
We cannot allow ourselves to fall into this trap. We cannot let Obama and Romney – these twin representatives of monopoly capital – set the agenda for our public schools.
Universal, public education is one of the great accomplishments of our country. Every generation of Americans have come forward in struggles to demand and extend the right to education.
Today, rather than dismantling and privatizing this vital national resource, we need to go forward and modernize it. This means genuinely fulfilling the promise of equality in education for everyone. It means guarantying that every school district receives equal funding. It means reducing class sizes and modernizing the curriculum. It means extending the system of free public education to include child care, university education and continuing education.
Education is a right which must be provided on an equal basis for everyone. This right can only be guaranteed by keeping it in the public domain and insuring that the government makes all the needed investments.
Workers Must Assert Their Collective Rights
The trend of governmental offensives against unions and the rights of workers is continuing.
Several states have passed laws prohibiting unions from bargaining over certain issues (such as barring teachers' unions from bargaining over class size), prohibiting union shop or "fair share" contracts, further restricting the right to strike, etc. The National Labor Relations Board, as well as state labor boards, are implementing regulations that often make it all but impossible for a union to gain legal recognition.
Of course such laws are direct attacks against the basic democratic right of freedom of association. In these cases, the government is zeroing in on the right of workers to assert themselves as a collective. Unions are not only a necessary part of the workers' economic struggle to limit the degree of exploitation, but also vital organizations which enable workers to concentrate themselves as a social force and assert their class interests. The "logic" of the capitalist government is that whenever the workers band together and take action to assert their rights as a class, they are interfering with the so-called "free market." In other words, the capitalists insist that the only function of society and government is to protect the "individual rights" (the power and privilege) of the private owners of society's means of production – of the capitalist class. The aim of the capitalists is to reduce every worker to an individual wage-slave with no capacity to resist his/her exploitation.
But the collective interests and rights of the workers arise as an objective fact of modern society. The workers are the laboring class who through their cooperative efforts produce all the material blessings. The workers also constitute the majority of society which must have the decisive say in determining their own social environment.
Thus, since the very emergence of capitalism, workers have recognized that they have no way forward except by coming out together and asserting their collective rights and interests. The workers in a particular factory or particular industry have the common interests to organize themselves in a union and come out together in the immediate struggle for higher wages and better working conditions. Workers throughout the country have the need to come out together and assert their general class interests through the political struggle against the capitalist class.
In fact, in order for our country to progress it is necessary that all the collective rights of the workers – as well as the collective rights of other groups such as women, national minorities, youth, etc. – be recognized in law and guaranteed in practice. For example, workers must not only have the inviolable right to organize themselves in unions but must also be guaranteed such rights as the right to a secure livelihood, to wages commensurate with our country's high degree of development, to a safe workplace, etc.
The struggle to guarantee the rights of various collectives is a struggle against the power and privilege of the monopoly capitalist class which seeks to subordinate everything to its narrow self-interest of profit and domination. It is a struggle which can only achieve complete victory when not only the rights of collectives but the right of the whole people to determine the character of society is realized in practice.
Road of the Party:
What is Blocking the Way?
In this column, "Road of the Party," we discuss some of the fundamental political and theoretical issues facing the working class.
At least from the time of the publication of the "Communist Manifesto," the capitalist class has been haunted by the working class movement and modern communism. In fact, the first thing on the agenda of the capitalists is how to suppress and liquidate the workers' movement. Anti-communism has long been written into the law of the land in the U.S. A myriad of additional laws and bureaucratic regulations are used to hamstring the trade union movement. Whenever a strike of the workers threatens the interests of the capitalists or a popular movement begins to gain strength, the government turns to its huge apparatus of repression and attempts to turn the matter into an issue of "law and
To thwart the development of the independent political movement of the workers, the capitalists have rigged the political system, giving the Republican and Democratic parties a monopoly over political affairs. These parties impose the pre-set agenda of monopoly capital on our country. Of course, the Democrats and Republicans put on a show and play a real con game on the public by pretending to "argue" over the agenda. But both "sides" of the "debate" remain within the limits set by the capitalists. Thus, for example, the Republicans demand the all-around privatization of the public schools while the Democrats advertise their program of partial privatization not merely as the "lesser evil" but as a real victory for the people. This pre-set agenda completely excludes the workers and prevents our country from finding solutions to the pressing economic, social and political problems facing the people.
Only revolutionary politics can release the initiative of the workers
Through their monopoly over the mass media, the capitalists try to limit any and every political discussion. Thus, for example, the people are offered the "choice" of higher taxes or less social spending. But all the while the monopoly-controlled media starts from the unspoken assumption that the bulk of the government's budget must go to the military arms merchants or the Wall Street bankers. Similarly the workers are threatened that if they don't accept wage cuts, they will lose their jobs. Again, the unspoken assumption is that – first, last, and always – the profits of the capitalists must be protected.
The monopoly-controlled media works to degrade the consciousness of the people. Continuous disinformation campaigns are used to hide the aims of the capitalists and mystify the causes of social problems. A blockade of silence is maintained against the working class and popular struggles, against the Workers Party and modern communism. In fact, the monopoly-controlled media tries to defame every section of the people – labelling the youth as "criminals," the oppressed minorities as "culturally backward," the workers as "apathetic and selfish," etc., etc.
In sum, the entire political and ideological apparatus of the capitalists is used to de-politicize the workers and prevent the development of their self-conscious, independent organization and movement.
The experience of the Workers Party is this marginalization and de-politicalization of people can be broken by giving expression to the independent class aims of the workers. From the cradle to the grave, people are bombarded with propaganda, threats and repression insisting that social change is a "hopeless dream." Bourgeois ideology tries to suppress every criticism of the status quo by insisting that those who "don't make it" in this "best of all worlds" have only themselves and their "immoral" behavior to blame.
The Workers Party works to bring to the fore the experience and aspirations of the people themselves, both their criticism of the status quo as well as their vision and aim for society and life. Popularizing and summing up the struggles of people, giving systematic and theoretical substantiation to the thinking and experience of people, brings these aspirations to the fore and creates a new atmosphere in which the workers and people are increasingly conscious of their own movement. This work of embedding our thought and action in the real-life struggle for emancipation includes popularizing and learning from the history of the working class and communist movements.
Starting from the aspirations of the working people, the Party works out a concrete politics which transcends the limits of the capitalist agenda and empowers the workers to fight for their own class interests. Thus we never accept the blackmail that the workers must accept the "lesser evil," that the only "choice" is whether taxes should be raised or social programs cut, that to oppose the war program of U.S. imperialism is tantamount to supporting some other imperialist power. The Workers Party presents an alternative based on the fundamental interests of the workers, an alternative which goes against the privileges of private property in the means of production and which breaks the monopoly of the capitalists over political affairs. Only such a genuinely revolutionary politics can release the initiative of the workers to come into the political arena under their own banners and with their own independent program.
The Struggle Against Opportunism
In order to disrupt the self-conscious, independent organization of the working class, the capitalists foster various opportunist trends within the working class and popular movements. These opportunist trends include social democracy and modern revisionism – the phony socialists and phony communists.
As early as the latter half of the 19th century, Karl Marx's theory of scientific socialism had become the main trend in the working class movement, inspiring the workers to come out as a class-for-themselves under the banner of socialism and communism. Facing this situation, the capitalists worked to split and undermine the workers' movement by disguising their ideology and program with phrases taken from socialism. Opportunism and revisionism are the reflection of capitalist ideology inside the working class movement. Opportunism and revisionism surrender the general and fundamental interests of the workers and subordinate the workers to the politics of the capitalist class.
Today, in fact, opportunism and revisionism have become part of the official ideology and state system of capitalism. In the former socialist countries, modern revisionism gained the leadership of the Soviet Union in the 1950's and was used to take the fortress of communism from within and pave the way for the restoration of capitalism. In western Europe and elsewhere, socialist and communist parties have been repeatedly brought to power to save the capitalist system. In the U.S., the social democrats and phony communists long ago joined the Democratic Party, and work overtime to keep the workers under the tutelage of this capitalist party. In fact, the capitalists in the U.S. have worked systematically to strengthen the objective basis for opportunism and revisionism by creating an "aristocracy of labor." This small "upper crust" of the trade union movement, ensconced in the leadership of the AFL-CIO, are invited to sit on the Boards of Directors of corporations, given positions in government, the universities, etc. The capitalists have created similar bought-and-paid for "leaders" in the movements of the oppressed minorities, the women's movement, etc.
Social democracy and modern revisionism work to suppress the political independence of the workers. They insist that workers can only be "pragmatic" and participate in political affairs by aligning themselves under the wing of the so-called "progressive" section of the capitalists. They deny that the workers are a class-for-themselves and divide the people into competing pressure groups and interest groups while insisting that people must work "within" the framework – the political limits – already laid down by the capitalists.
The struggle against opportunism is an essential part of the struggle of the working class
The atmosphere fostered by opportunism is just as stifling and apolitical as the atmosphere created by the monopoly-controlled media. Genuine political discussion is ruled out of order and the thought and action of the people is kept within the narrowest possible framework. Not only do the opportunists create every illusion in the capitalist system and capitalist state. When push comes to shove – when a real crisis develops and the interests of capital are threatened – opportunism openly embraces the aims of the capitalists themselves. Thus, for example, the leaders of the AFL-CIO embrace the program of "increasing the competitiveness of U.S. capitalism." Similarly, at key moments such as the wars in Yugoslavia and the Persian Gulf, many "leaders" of the peace movement openly adopt the chauvinist positions of U.S. imperialism.
To disrupt the working class and popular movements, the capitalists also employ a variety of anarchist ideologies and sects. Such groupings often advertise themselves as "communists" and "revolutionaries." But such sects generally abstain from politics and the sum total of their activity is to try to impose their particular pet mantras on the movement. This dogmatism works to undermine the political unity of the workers and create an atmosphere of division. The capitalists hope that in rejecting the dogmatism of such sects, activists will also reject genuine communism.
"Left" sectarianism, just like social democracy and modern revisionism, denies the revolutionary and independent role of the working class. Despite "revolutionary" phrases about the "judgment day," in real political life the "left" dogmatists offer no alternative and leave the workers under the tutelage of capitalist politics. In other words, such dogmatists do not see or join in the motion of the class to organize and assert itself. Rather they are determined to abstain from politics until such time as the masses embrace their special sectarian dogmas.
The Workers Party recognizes that the struggle against opportunism is an essential and continuous to be part of the struggle of the working class. It is part and parcel of the struggle against bourgeois ideology and politics. But the struggle against opportunism cannot be waged as an isolated thing in itself. On the contrary. The struggle against opportunism must be waged in the course of taking up the decisive tasks facing the movement.
The key thing is to give political expression to the independent aims and program of the workers. It is such an independent politics which empowers people to break the strangle hold of capitalist politics, give expression to their aspirations and vision for the new communist society and accumulate forces for the socialist revolution. It is precisely because social democracy, revisionism and left dogmatism fight against the independent political role of the workers that they are roadblocks to the movement.
End U.S. Aggression in Afghanistan!
U.S. and All Foreign Troops Out of Afghanstan Now!
Throughout the world, the peoples are demanding: “U.S., Out of Afghanistan!” “Stop the Wars!”
The response of the U.S. government is to continue and escalate the war!
105,000 U.S. and other foreign troops occupy the country and wage war against the Afghan people. We have seen the war become even more brutal. This year, President Obama signed a Strategic Framework Agreement for Afghanistan which declares that U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan for a minimum of 10 more years after 2014! In addition, the U.S. continues its occupation of Iraq and its threats against Iran and Syria.
In other words, the wars are going to continue and the U.S. government wantonly sacrifices Afghan and American lives in its war of aggression and conquest. The fact is that the U.S. monopoly capitalist class needs and wants war. The capitalists need and want war to grab the oil of Iraq, to establish permanent U.S. bases in Afghanistan and Central Asia, to recolonize the strategic Middle East. The capitalists’ so-called “war on terrorism” is a war to assert that the U.S. is the sole superpower, that its military might makes it the emperor of the world with the power to invade any country at any time, to determine which countries are entitled to independence, to brand as “terrorist” or "rogue" any people who resist and fight for freedom; in short U.S. imperialism has appointed itself the judge, jury and executioner of humanity.
Over the last 4 years, the Obama administration has proved, time and time again, that the demands and will of the American people mean nothing to it. The people demand peace and the government escalates its wars. The war program has been supported every step of the way by both the Republicans and Democrats and this remains true today. The Democrats posture as opponents of the war even while they have political power and continue to finance and prosecute it. The people can have no illusions.
In the face of the warmakers’ brazen escalation and continuing wars, we must turn our outrage into determined, organized struggle.
The U.S. aggressors will be forced out of Afghanistan — but only by the struggles of the people. It is up to the American people to step up our mass actions to demand the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. and foreign troops from Afghanistan. We must support the resistance of the Afghan people and their inalienable right to national independence and sovereignty — to determine their affairs for themselves.
We must not only oppose the war in Afghanistan, but every front of U.S. imperialism’s so-called “war on terrorism.” We must demand the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, an end to U.S.-backed Israeli aggression in Palestine; an end to U.S. pressure and threats against Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and everywhere.
To carry these struggles through, we can rely only on the strength and organization of the people themselves. We must build up a proactive, independent movement for peace — a movement which demands an end to U.S. aggression and interference everywhere, the withdrawal of all U.S. troops stationed abroad, recognition of the sovereign equality of every nation and an end to the militarization of our country.
U.S. Imperialism, Out of the Philippines!
The cause of the people for a permanent end to U.S. military presence in the Philippines is in danger because of the aggressive war program of U.S. imperialism.
On October 8, the "Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercises" began with an announcement by a U.S. marine at an opening ceremony on an American amphibious assault ship in Subi Bay. The operations were scheduled to last through October 18. The operations included live fire exercises and a simulated helicopter raid.
The Obama administration depicted these military operations as "joint exercises" in order to cover over the main thing. The U.S. is trying to re-establish permanent military presence in the Philippines and turn the clock back to the days of U.S. military bases.
Due to immense opposition by millions of Filipino people to U.S. military presence the U.S. was forced to remove all U.S. military troops and facilities from the country in 1992. Repeated struggles have since broken out against re-stationing of U.S. troops.
For over a century, U.S. imperialism has maintained a colonial and neo-colonial regime in the Philippines and used it as a military base for projecting its interests throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Obama's renewal of this imperialist policy once again shows that U.S. colonialism and neo-colonialism in the Philippines is the bi-partisan program of the Democrats and Republicans.
U.S. Special Forces Stationed at the Jordan-Syria Border
In August U.S., British and Jordanian forces carried out joint military exercises in Jordan near the border with Syria. After the exercises 150 U.S. special forces stayed behind to be stationed along the border.
In 2008 the U.S. signed an agreement with Jordan which okayed the provision of $300 million per year in Foreign Military Financing.
The Obama administration is using the catch-all pretext of "monitoring chemical and biological weapons" as justification for the positioning of the special forces.
These changes are part of U.S. militarization of the situation in and around Syria. For the people of Jordan and neighboring countries it means an increased danger of U.S. intervention using Jordanian territory as a launching pad.