Barack Obama won 62 million votes on a “peace” platform — that slated 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan — while promising “to create new jobs.” Instead, his brief regime has relentlessly attacked workers with intensifying war and economic misery.
Obama is sending 21,000 more GIs to Afghanistan now and backs his generals’ demands for an additional 10,000 this fall.
U.S.-led forces have slain 27,000 Afghan civilians since 2001. Obama’s surge can only worsen the death toll.
The U.S. war machine’s new commander-in-chief is also stepping up airstrikes into Pakistan. One such raid killed a dozen civilians on April 1. More than 400 people have died in the Iraq war since Inauguration Day. Bush Sr.’s invasion, Clinton’s sanctions and bombings, and Bush Jr.’s invasion and occupation took over two million Iraqi lives. Obama, despite his lies about “withdrawal,” is extending the U.S. oil war’s body count while pledging to keep combat brigades in Iraq.
Domestically, it’s workers’ livelihoods that suffer mass extermination. According to doctored government figures, at least 1.7 million jobs have disappeared on Obama’s watch, so far. The true figure, counting “discouraged” workers and part-timers who can’t find non-existent full-time jobs, is double that. And his scheme to “save Detroit” forces both job- and pay-cuts on autoworkers.
Obama can’t and won’t bring either peace or prosperity because he, like all politicians, serves his nation’s capitalist class. Obama’s top advisors, hailing from major corporations and ruling-class think-tanks, are tightly tied to the dominant, imperialist JP Morgan Chase-Exxon Mobil-Rockefeller wing of U.S. capital, as CHALLENGE has often noted.
Obama’s bailout of Citigroup, AIG & Co. further exposes his true class loyalty. It wipes out shareholdings that include workers’ pensions and 401Ks, but guarantees billions — via AIG’s bailout money — to creditor banks like Goldman Sachs.
White House Job No. 1: Wars to Save U.S. Oil Empire
Obama’s U.S. capitalist masters face sharpening political, military and economic competition from imperialist and regional rivals. Thus, he’s expanding military operations in the Mid-East and Central and South Asia to protect U.S. bosses’ most important single source of profits, oil, and its control as a weapon against its rivals.
But threats to Exxon Mobil’s and Chevron’s “black gold” keep mounting. Energy-thirsty China is building attack submarines and aircraft carriers to challenge U.S.-Navy dominance over oil routes. Iran’s oil baron mullahs exert growing influence in Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria, which surround Saudi Arabia, U.S. imperialism’s grand profit prize. Putin’s Russia, which supplies energy to much of Europe, using it as blackmail, seeks a new empire that includes a nuked-up Iran.
Obama is pouring $10.5 billion in lethal military aid into already nuclear, unstable Pakistan in hopes of rooting out Taliban and al Qaeda forces there.
At home, Obama’s “stimulus” won’t reverse U.S. capitalism’s inevitable descent into decay. U.S. workers’ real wages have declined over the past three decades. Yet producing useful goods here, with aging plants and infrastructure — increasingly costly to upgrade — has become, in the main, less profitable than in rival countries.
So U.S. finance capitalists turned from investing in cars, appliances and textiles to trading basically worthless “paper” instruments like bundled bad mortgages and credit default swaps, and at exorbitant prices. Fraud disguised as finance boosted U.S. earnings rates for a time. But the current bust lays bare U.S. bosses’ fundamental and widening global profit disadvantage.
Rival Rulers Draw Daggers at G-20 And NATO Summits
Obama’s feeble effect at recent G-20 and NATO summits underscore U.S. rulers’ deepening predicaments. Rising capitalist powerhouses China, India, and even Brazil played 800-pound-elephant roles at the G-20 economic confab in London, new threats U.S. bosses can’t deal with. Pundits said G-20 was more like the failed 1933 central bankers’ meeting in London, which highlighted the insoluble economic disputes that led in large part to World War II.
Meanwhile, Obama’s attendance at NATO’s 60th birthday party gained only token support for the U.S.’s Afghan war. Only Britain, whose Mideast-focused Shell and BP tie it to the Exxon-Chevron-Pentagon agenda, pledged more than a few hundred soldiers. The NATO festivity also unintentionally prompted a 20,000-strong pro-Russian protest in Ukraine’s capital Kiev against president Yushchenko’s bid to join the U.S.-led war coalition.
World War III Needs Spur U.S. Infrastructure Schemes
If Obama does, in fact, overcome a dysfunctional Congress to create jobs, it won’t be to revitalize GM’s Pontiac sales, but rather to beef up U.S. infrastructure, enhancing its capacity to wage world war. Felix Rohatyn, a major U.S. imperialist strategist, has written a book, “Bold Endeavors,” which recounts past huge U.S. public/private undertakings that enhanced “national security.” These include transcontinental railroads, the Panama Canal and interstate highways.
Rohatyn urges Obama to rebuild rails, ports and roads to make the U.S. not just more productive but better able to withstand attack and project its considerable military might overseas. U.S. rulers, and servants like Obama and Rohatyn, understand that, ultimately, recovery lies in destroying rivals’ productive capacity (including human capital) through war and forcibly seizing their territory, raw materials and markets.
War-maker, job-destroyer, union-buster Obama nevertheless enjoys a high 66% approval rating, according to pollsters. Many people, who rely on government to solve their problems, believe his election struck a blow against racism. But Obama, by winning workers to support the government, actually helps U.S. rulers get away with racist murder, quite literally in their Iraq and Afghan slaughters.
Unemployment under Obama, approaching 30 million and counting, hits black, Latino, and immigrant workers hardest. Obama’s military cold-bloodedly targets unarmed Arabs and Asians.
For workers, supporting Obama, or any agent of the class enemy, is a big mistake. Rather we need to organize to destroy the profit system, which can’t provide us a living but often deals us death. That is our revolutionary, communist Party’s long-term aim.