Against Our "Own" Ruling Class
March 31, 2016
In the U.S., as throughout the world, the struggle against war and imperialism has always been one of the profound currents of the class struggle. In our country, the workers and people have no choice but to wage this fight. To begin with, it is the working people who pay the price – in death and taxes – for the war program of the capitalist class. What is more, it means the further militarization of our economy and all aspects of social life. Militarism and chauvinism are the official ideologies of the capitalist ruling class who are even pushing our school children into military academies.
There is a process unfolding in the U.S. as tens of millions of people have already come out in repeated protests against the government’s war program and as a new generation of activists are getting to the root of things and straining for the path of political independence.
In all sections of society, in countless circles of people, there is real discussion and activity going on. People are getting together to help develop the anti-militarist, anti-war movement.
One of the main fronts of struggle against U.S. imperialism’s war program is the struggle to demand the permanent and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq, lock, stock and barrel. Today, the government and the monopoly-owned media are trying to reverse the people’s verdict against this barbaric war and working to degrade the consciousness of the people through continuous disinformation campaigns. More than ever, the experience of the people must be nurtured and deepened. The consciousness which has emerged as a result of the struggle against this war and the entire so-called “war on terrorism” must be nurtured as a landmark, a new starting point for developing the struggle against war and imperialism. So too, we must continue to expose how U.S. imperialism is occupying Iraq and using its influence there to sow seeds for new wars.
The necessity for this demand to be kept in the forefront of the anti-war movement is more urgent today than ever. Every American of conscience can only be outraged at the bestial chauvinism used to justify this war which defiles our country and goes against everything that makes us human.
– One of the crimes of the U.S. military in Iraq is the instigation of sectarian violence. This ongoing crime is part and parcel of the U.S. colonial strategy.
– From day one, the U.S. occupying authorities have fostered and strengthened the most reactionary classes and forces in Iraqi society. The U.S. armies have set up a government headed by notorious CIA agents such as Talabani, Chalabi, Allawi, etc. The U.S. is building a large, U.S.-armed and U.S.-commanded puppet army and police force. The core of this puppet army is based on former generals of Saddam Hussein’s military. On the other hand, the parties which oppose the occupation are illegal and the Iraqi people are hunted, killed, tortured, and imprisoned.
– Organization of sectarian violence is done to sap the strength of the people and justify continued U.S. occupation. From day one, the U.S. talked about the “need” to partition Iraq along sectarian lines. The entire constitutional and political strategy pursued by the U.S. (such as doling out political privileges and building armed militias along sectarian lines) is designed to foment sectarian rivalries. Early in the war, the head of the UN human rights monitoring group revealed that the U.S. has trained Iraqi government death squads which systematically seek out Sunnis for torture and murder.
– The propaganda that fills the media with stories about “sectarian violence” and “civil war” is used by the capitalists to try to justify U.S. aggression and to attack the Iraqi people as “unfit” and “unready” to rule themselves.
– The facts show that whenever the U.S. or other imperialist powers take control of another country, they ally themselves with and give strength to the most reactionary classes inside the country. The foreign aggressors and local exploiters work together to suppress the laboring classes and other democratic sectors who struggle for independence, freedom and social progress. As in Iraq, the imperialists provide the arms while the local reactionaries round up manpower and lend “legitimacy” to the colonial regime. The foreign and local capitalists share in exploiting the people.
– This tactic has been used repeatedly by the U.S. and British imperialists, as for example in Ireland and India, Yugoslavia and Palestine. The presence and influence of U.S. imperialism heightens the civil conflict in every country, polarizing the society. Throughout Latin America, U.S. imperialism is notorious for bringing to power or propping up such fascist regimes as the Duvaliers in Haiti, Somoza’s and his National Guard in Nicaragua, Pinochet in Chile, etc. In Korea, U. S. imperialism continues to partition the country. In the Middle East, the U.S. has sponsored such fascist regimes as the Shah of Iran, the Saudi Arabian monarchy, Saddam Hussein, etc. Recent history provides countless examples exposing the absurd, doublespeak logic of the U.S. government when it claims to be “bringing democracy” to Iraq or any country. Especially since WW2, U.S. imperialism has been the main bastion and support for reaction and fascism. It is the sworn enemy of democracy and the liberation struggles of the peoples.
– The U.S. occupation has polarized the entire country of Iraq. On one side, the vast majority of Iraqi people – the workers, the poor and downtrodden, all who defend the independence and honor of the nation – are opposing the U.S. occupation. On the other side, the reactionary, exploiting classes have put themselves at the disposal of the occupiers and are helping to kill and subjugate their own people.
– Sectarian violence does not arise from the life of the overwhelming majority of Iraqi people who live, work and struggle under the same conditions and who everyday are strengthening their unity through the common struggle against the occupier. From the beginning, the resistance forces and the broadest sectors of Iraqi public opinion have repeatedly blamed the sectarian violence squarely on the U.S. occupiers and called for the united resistance of the Iraqi people.
– The U.S. war against Iraq has already resulted in massive civilian deaths and the destruction of Iraqi society. The number of civilians killed since the war began is estimated at more than 500,000 with many more wounded. The bombing has destroyed homes, markets, farms, roads, railroads, schools, hospitals, as well as electrical generation facilities, water and sanitation works, industrial plants, etc. The country’s food supply has been disrupted and the health care infrastructure crippled. Illegal weapons, including depleted uranium (DU), napalm and cluster weapons, have been used by U.S. forces. U.S. military occupation authorities have established large-scale detention camps holding thousands of prisoners across Iraq and U.S.-armed and U.S.-commanded military and paramilitary units attempt to subjugate the Iraqi people through recurring “conquest operations.”
– The real motives behind this aggressive, imperialist war can be seen in the fact that U.S. companies are grabbing Iraq’s oil and putting the entire economy up for sale. The Pentagon has established a network of permanent military bases to menace the whole region.
– It is the struggle against the U.S. occupation and against U.S. imperialism which is the path for resolving the civil conflict. Forcing the U.S. troops permanently out of Iraq, lock, stock and barrel is not only necessary for the independence of the country, it is also the way to break the back of the internal, reactionary classes and open the path for progress.
– The war in Iraq is one link in a chain of U.S. aggression and intervention across the world. Already, U.S. imperialism is waging a continuous war in Afghanistan, occupied Palestine, as well as carrying out lawless and violent interventions in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Venezuela, Honduras, Colombia and elsewhere. U.S. imperialism is increasing tensions in Asia, threatening North Korea and waging counter-insurgency war in the Philippines. The war in the Ukraine shows that the contradictions of the world imperialist system are intensifying and that new and even greater dangers are facing humanity.
In 2016, the anti-war movement is coming under more pressure than ever from the Democrats and Republicans to give up its principled demands and independent organizations in order to campaign for one or another capitalist politician. This political struggle cannot be ignored. It is only by isolating the politics of war and the politics of compromise with war can we consolidate our movement and advance.
In this struggle we must keep in mind that the elections are not simply, or even primarily, a question of picking one or another candidate or choosing not to vote. The elections are a broad ideological, organizational and political campaign waged by the capitalist parties and mass media against the anti-war movement.
When the opportunist “left-wing” of the Democratic Party insists that activists campaign and vote for the “lesser evil,” they are covering over the real deeds of the two parties who have carried out the entire capitalist program for decades.
Such opportunism covers over the real aims of U.S. imperialism and imports the chauvinism of the capitalist class into the anti-war movement. Opportunism attacks the Arab peoples as “fundamentalists” and “terrorists” and insists that U.S. capitalism indeed has the “mission” to bring its version of “democracy” to the world. This “logic” reserves for U.S. imperialism the right to determine which countries are “democratic” and “good” and to decide whether they are entitled to sovereignty.
The issue is not only that the crimes of the Republicans and Democrats are being covered over and the danger of their politics seriously underestimated, or even that 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.
The biggest distortion of all, is the claim that we must be “realistic” and accept the so-called “lesser evil” because there is “no alternative.” The alternative already exists in the millions and tens of millions of Americans who are opposed to the wars and who have no stake in them. The task is to give an independent political expression to this already existing movement.
Do not let the imperialist warmakers have a free hand!
Peace and the liberation of the peoples is the sacred cause of humanity!