Will Barack Obama’s choice of black, Latin, Asian and female cabinet members and advisors finally represent the interests of long-oppressed segments of the U.S. working class? We think not. Class analysis shatters Obama & Co.’s egalitarian facade. Each and every appointee serves the dominant, imperialist wing of U.S. capitalists. Every last one has a bloody record of attacking workers by aiding the rulers’ war machine or their growing police state.
CLASS POLITICS PRIMARY
Identity politics is a dead end. What matters most is class. Warmakers Obama, Eric Holder, and Susan Rice won’t help the black working-class youth they seek as cannon fodder for the rulers’ wars. Family-splitting deportation honcho Janet Napolitano won’t help poor immigrant women. Thinking that the Obama administration signals positive change would be a grave political error. Politicians and their subordinates all serve the capitalist class.
What follows is an incomplete rogues’ gallery of the anti-worker criminals — many Clinton administration veterans — Obama has assembled so far. U.S. imperialism faces sharpening military and economic challenges. The rulers hope Team Obama’s ruling-class diversity will divert workers from our need for mass, multi-racial working-class unity and help them implement the widening wars and domestic crackdown they require to restore their profits.
The communist Progressive Labor Party is the only political movement that has workers’ needs at heart. Functioning outside — and opposed to — the bosses’ electoral system, we stand for mass, multi-racial struggle against racist unemployment amid the deepening Depression; unity of the employed and unemployed; and work towards ultimately destroying the deadly profit system, replacing it with workers’ rule.
ERIC HOLDER, African-American, future attorney-general, is who Obama promises will “clean up” Guantanamo. Don’t count on it. Working as a lawyer at Washington’s Covington and Burling firm in 2004, Holder defended Chiquita Banana’s gun-running to Colombia’s right-wing death squads. “Defending” Chiquita’s plantations, they slaughtered over 4,000 peasants. Now Holder joins the deadliest death squad in history.
ROBERT GATES, returning “defense” chief, constitutes a different facet of Obama’s inclusiveness, revealing the new regime’s main purpose. An author of the “surge” in Iraq and U.S. troop expansion in Afghanistan, Bush alumnus Gates, like Jones (see below), is meant to win over Republican conservatives to the imperialists’ ever-expanding war agenda. Pointing to the next U.S. theaters of operations, Gates’ Pentagon just announced a program to hire translators skilled in “35 languages including Arabic, Hindi [spoken in India], Farsi [spoken in Iran], and Somali.” (Boston Globe, 12/6/08)
Janet Napalotano, Obama’s Homeland Security czar, has a “rational approach” to immigration policy which boils down to Gestapo-style terror. As Arizona governor, she turned state and local cops — through a joint training program — into agents of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). Thus, “Arizona led the nation in deportations — comprising about a fifth of the total 349,041 [undocumented] immigrants deported nationwide.” (AP, 11/7/08). Napolitano’s state is home to three major ICE pre-deportation concentration camps. Obama wants this proponent of “immigration reform” as a mask to “federalize” individual states’ attacks on immigrants.
JAMES JONES Retired Marine general and now National Security Advisor, was a major architect of both Iraq genocidal wars and Clinton’s civilian-wide bombing of Serbia. Like Holder, Jones promotes the killing of civilians for corporate profit. He’s a Director of Boeing and Chevron, which make billions off imperialism, one by selling the Pentagon weapons of mass destruction, the other from access to Mid-East oil.
SUSAN RICE, African-American, the next U.S. Ambassador to the UN, strives to cover U.S. war-making with a humanitarian fig leaf. As a Stanford professor and Clinton aide, she has written extensively urging U.S.-led UN military intervention in places like Darfur, citing a “responsibility to protect.” Inevitably, it is resources, such as Sudanese oil, that demand U.S. protection from Chinese control.
BILL RICHARDSON, Obama’s Commerce Secretary, claims “man-of-the-people” status despite a ruling-class pedigree. His father ran Citigroup’s vast imperialist operations in Mexico (which it may have to sell) from the 1930s to the 1950s. Bill and his late distant cousin Elliott Richardson, who held a record four cabinet posts, descend from merchant brothers who settled near Boston in the 1630s.
A young Bill Richardson toiled for arch-imperialist Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. He served as energy secretary to Clinton, whose energy policy amounted to air war against pro-Russian forces in the former Yugoslavia involving Caspian oil routes and preparation (with sanctions and missiles) for the seizure of Iraq’s oil fields.
HILLARY CLINTON, for Secretary of State. Obama deceitfully courted anti-war voters in the primaries. He had attacked Clinton’s 2002 Senate vote for invading Iraq. Firmly under the bosses’ control, president-elect Obama makes warmaker Hillary a major agent of U.S. foreign policy.