Category Archives: Editorials

Libya Invasion Exposes Obama’s Turn to Fascism, Dogfight in U.S. Ruling Class

Centralization of power — military, political and economic — is a hallmark of fascism, the deadly necessary tool capitalists employ when they can no longer hide behind the façade of “democracy.” Obama’s Libya power grab reflects desperate efforts by the dominant — but embattled — imperialist wing of U.S. bosses to retain its grip on foreign policy. One aim of fascism is for the dominant capitalists — who must protect the long-range survival of their system — to discipline those bosses who are only out for immediate profits and disregard how negatively that might impact the system in the long run.

But Obama’s masters have a big problem. The U.S. is a big country, made up of many competing capitalists with competing interests. All employ politicians in Washington. The biggest bosses, such as the Rockefeller-bloc — owners of imperialist firms like Exxon, JP Morgan and GE — require the U.S. war machine to guard and help expand their far-flung operations. Liberal Democrats, including Obama, as well as a number of interventionist Republicans, serve them.

War-maker Obama Must Skirt Polarized, Partisan Congress

Seeking to turn part of the Arab Spring into a Khadafy-free oil free-for-all on behalf of Big Oil, U.S.-led NATO has conducted over 4,300 air strikes so far in Libya. One, on June 17, killed seven civilians. Yet Obama insists this bloodshed does not amount to “hostilities” under the War Powers Act and thus needs no Congressional consent.

In 1973, when their Vietnam genocide was failing and masses of workers and GI’s were turning against this imperialist invasion, U.S. rulers cooked up this Act in order to blame the war on Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon personally rather than on U.S. bosses’ need to counter their then rising state capitalist rivals in the Soviet Union and China. The Act’s purpose was also to put a “democratic” face on future U.S. wars by demanding Congress approve a president’s military action within 90 days. After all, the bosses’ Big Lie goes, Congress “represents the whole nation,” even though it is mostly a ruling class rubber stamp. But today Obama claims a license to kill without a thumbs-up from either Senate or House.

Oil-based Domestic Splits Sharpening

But some businesses, like Koch Oil, have primarily a short-range, domestic focus. Koch’s main push today is to build a pipeline from Canada’s burgeoning oil and gas tar fields that will connect with its existing Minnesota line. It runs through the district that Koch-backed, Tea Party presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann represents on Capitol Hill. Opposing Obama’s War Powers move, she told ABC News (6/19/11) the U.S. has “no vital national interest” in Libya. In addition, smaller business owners, seeking tax relief as a way out of the current recession, bankrolled successful anti-Obama, Tea Party candidates for Congress in 2011.

Obama also faces less ideologically consistent Republican opportunists, like front-runner Mitt Romney, trying to cash in on mass anti-war sentiment. His calls for “bringing the troops home,” designed to defeat Obama, echo Obama’s own fake 2008 campaign “peace” appeals aimed at Bush, Jr., designed to capitalize on mass disgust with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

U.S.-led Alliances Faltering

However much they need it, the main, imperialist U.S. rulers have been unable — since 1941 — to unite Congress to declare war. Similar dysfunction besets them internationally. Retiring Pentagon chief Robert Gates spent a good deal of his worldwide farewell tour berating NATO “allies” for not ponying up in troops, money or supplies. Germany, for example, chiefly dependent on Russian energy, is sitting out the mainly U.S., British and French slaughter in Libya. Washington’s NATO funding, moaned Gates in a recent speech in Belgium, has soared from a one-half to three-quarters share.

As for Libya in particular, Gates said, “While every alliance member voted for the Libya mission, less than half have participated at all, and fewer than a third have been willing to participate in the strike mission.” (Defense Department, 6/10/11) And Gates wasn’t even talking about potentially necessary invasions of Syria, Iran or Saudi Arabia — in the latter’s case to protect Exxon’s oil — in which “allies” have divergent oil and gas interests and therefore different levels of loyalty to Washington.

But U.S. Rulers’ Need for World War Persists

A week later in Singapore, however, formerly pessimistic Gates chirped merrily in a veiled way about a possible allied World War III victory over potential imperialist enemies: “[W]hen America is willing to lead the way; when we meet our commitments and stand with our allies, even in troubling times; when we prepare for threats that are on the ground and on the horizon, and even beyond the horizon; and when we make the necessary sacrifices and take the necessary risks to defend our values and our interests — then great things are possible, and even probable for our country, this region, and the world.” Who might be “on or beyond the horizon” but Chinese and Russian imperialists?

To survive amid intensifying rivalry, U.S. capitalists will do what they can and must to keep profits flowing. This mean widening wars of every kind, accompanied by an increasing police-state crackdown in the U.S. A principal face of fascism is evident in U.S. bosses’ need to intensify the squeeze on U.S. workers to pay for these wars through wage-cuts and speed-up, employing less workers to produce more; through huge budget cuts in social services; through fending off possible resistance by the tens of millions of unemployed; through the maintenance of racism in all these areas to extract super-profits from black, Latino and immigrant workers; and through the exploitation of workers worldwide to keep U.S. capitalism afloat.

The international working class’s survival, then, depends on building one united international communist party — PLP — that can function under conditions of war and fascism with the aim of overthrowing the murdering billionaire class. It is towards this goal that PLP members throughout the world must build our Party in every area of class struggle in which we are involved.

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Afghanistan: TAPI Pipeline, Imperialist Rivalry Make U.S. Troop Withdrawal Impossible

Obama and his war counselors continue to engage in a tactical debate over the length and duration of the occupation in Afghanistan, as noted in the June 6 New York Times. But the United States’ long-term strategic necessity to protect this valuable real estate was made plain in a brutal terror attack one week earlier.

On May 28, U.S. bombs killed five girls, seven boys, and two women as they slept in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, one of the devastated areas (along with Kandahar province) that lie along the path of the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipeline. At the time, U.S. puppet Afghan president Karzai was off in neighboring Turkmenistan, negotiating details of TAPI. The killings stem directly from this deal and exemplify the anti-worker violence inherent in capitalist competition.

Obama & Co. ordered the Helmand strike in retaliation for the death of a Marine whose job was to help secure the pipeline. It makes little difference whether the targeting was accidental or deliberate. Either way, U.S. rulers have been indiscriminately killing innocent civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq for three decades. Their willingness to slaughter millions in this imperial exploit ranks with Hitler’s terrorist V-2 rocket raids on London and the U.S. holocausts in Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.

We shouldn’t sell liberals like Obama short in their capacity for brutal terror. As Madeline Albright acknowledged in 2000 regarding the death of half a million Iraqi children from U.S.-imposed sanctions, “This is a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it.”

U.S. Rulers’ Strategic Need to
Occupy Afghanistan

Since the days of Bill Clinton, U.S. imperialists have treasured the notion of a gas route through Afghanistan. In 1998, U.S. Unocal (now owned by Chevron) stood on the brink of a pipeline contract with the Taliban, the local force that the U.S. armed to the teeth, enabling them to rule the country.

But the fundamentalist Taliban double-crossed its U.S. bosses — twice. First, the Taliban rejected Unocal and inked a pact with Argentine energy conglomerate Bridas (now half-owned by China). Second, the Taliban played host to al Qaeda, another U.S. creation-turned-enemy. In response, following plans drawn up long before 9/11, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001.

Today, Taliban forces challenge U.S. occupiers for control of TAPI. But as important as this potential energy bonanza may be, it’s the prospect of future wars against far more threatening rivals that motivates the Pentagon’s Afghan effort. As Khalil Nouri, a member of U.S. imperialists’ Afghanistan Study Group, boasts,  “[TAPI] consolidates NATO’s political and military presence in the strategic high plateau that overlooks Russia, Iran, India, Pakistan and China….TAPI proves a perfect setting for the alliance’s future projection of military power for ‘crisis management’ in Central Asia” (Examiner.com, 5/19/11).

In other words, TAPI offers both control over critical energy resources and a military beachhead for future U.S. interventions in the area.

Forget About Obama’s
Afghan Pull-out

These long-term geopolitical factors explain why the liberal Brookings Institution boosts VP Biden’s Afghan plan that “would keep an average of perhaps 50,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan over the coming year, 30,000 the following year and 20,000 in the country thereafter, indefinitely” (Brookings website, 6/3/11).

Meanwhile, Obama’s outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates spoke doubletalk to say that U.S. troops in Afghanistan weren’t going anywhere soon: “Between the successes we have already enjoyed and the increased capacity of the Afghan forces, we are in a position — based on conditions on the ground, as the president has said — to consider some modest drawdowns beginning in July” (USA Today, 6/5/11). Translation: Because of U.S. failures and the incompetence of Afghan forces, GIs will remain in Afghanistan for a long time.

So the carnage will continue. It will stop only when its root cause — the profits that come from military control of resources or strategic advantage over capitalist rivals — is demolished. We need a communist revolution to destroy the current dog-eat-dog system and replace it with egalitarian, working-class rule.J

 

CIA Created Taliban

(This is an excerpt from an interview in 2000 from the Indian Times where a U.S. crony exposes the CIA creation of the Taliban. )

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) worked in tandem with Pakistan to create the “monster” that is today…Taliban, a leading US expert on South Asia said here.

“I warned them that we were creating a monster,” Selig Harrison from the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars said at the conference…on “Terrorism and Regional Security: Managing the Challenges in Asia.”

Harrison said: “The CIA made a historic mistake in encouraging Islamic groups from all over the world to come to Afghanistan.” The U.S. provided $3 billion for building up these Islamic groups, and it accepted Pakistan’s demand that they should decide how this money should be spent, Harrison said….he had meetings with CIA leaders at the time when Islamic forces were being strengthened in Afghanistan. “They told me these people were fanatical, and the more fierce they were the more fiercely they would fight the Soviets,” he said. “I warned them that we were creating a monster.”

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U.S. Rulers: History’s Biggest Terrorists

The U.S. ruling class claims it is engaged in a “war on terror” against al Qaeda, symbolized by the killing of Osama bin Laden. But as terrorists go, al Qaeda is small change compared to U.S. rulers’ 200 years of murderous attacks on workers and youth, both in the U.S. and abroad. The U.S. ruling class is the biggest terrorist in world history, responsible for the deaths of tens of millions, especially black and Latino workers and youth because of racism.

But that’s only one side of the story. Wherever these butchers have engaged in this carnage they have been met with heroic resistance and rebellion from the international working class (see p. 7). The class struggle is a history of ruling-class capitalist, imperialist repression and working-class fight-back. Below is a (partial) list of U.S. rulers’ terror, followed by workers’ struggle against that terror.

• Centuries of slavery embedded in the U.S. Constitution enslaved millions of black people on southern plantations, toiling in the fields from sun-up to sundown, suffering torture, punishment by hacking off limbs and the mass rape of thousands of black women slaves.

• Following post-Civil War “emancipation,” a Ku Klux Klan terror rampaged throughout the South and in some northern cities, keeping millions of black people in virtual slavery through laws barring equal rights, arresting and jailing thousands of black men right off the streets to become prisoner-slaves “rented out” to plantation owners, right up to World War II.

• An untold number of Native Americans were removed or wiped out in the 18th and 19th century by the U.S. Army’s genocide, including the infamous “trail of tears” that marched the Cherokees from the Carolinas to Western reservations, virtual concentration camps, thousands dying on the way, a “heritage” that has produced the most impoverished section of the U.S. working class, with a 90% unemployment rate.

• 1898: Spanish-American War; Kill 3,000 Filipinos in seizing Philippines.

• 1898: U.S. troops occupy Cuba, former Spanish colony, and then institute the Platt Amendment which authorized U.S. intervention into Cuba any time it felt necessary, effectively subjecting Cuba to U.S. control.

• 1898: U.S. troops occupy Puerto Rico, former Spanish colony until 1900 and then annexed it, to be subject to U.S. corporate exploitation, paying workers below U.S. minimum wages.

• 1904 to 1913: U.S. builds Panama Canal under horrific health conditions; 25,000 workers die from malaria, yellow fever, small pox, typhoid, dysentery, intestinal parasites and accidents.

• 1917 to 1925 — U.S. armed forces invade the Soviet Union, along with 16 other imperialist countries, to try to bury the first socialist system, free of capitalist profits; 4.5 million Russians die. (Churchill: “Strangle the baby in the cradle.”)

• 1914 to 1933: Marines invade Mexico, Haiti, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and China and half a dozen Central American countries.

• 1930s to 1947: U.S. arms fascist dictator Chang-Kai-Shek against Chinese Red Army, killing millions until Revolutionaries seize power in 1949.

• In 1941, hundreds of thousands of Japanese-Americans were summarily evicted from their neighborhoods and herded into “internment” concentration camps throughout the entire World War II, being cited as a “threat” to the national war effort by the Roosevelt Administration, following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

• 1945: U.S. drops Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing 250,000 civilians after indiscriminate fire-bombing of Tokyo and other Japanese cities killing another half-million civilians, leaving 13,000,000 homeless.

• 1953: CIA organizes overthrow of Iran president Mossedegh, installs fascist Shah in power, trains Shah’s secret police in methods of torture, killing thousands of communists and left-wingers.

• 1954: U.S. organizes overthrow of Guatemala’s elected government, installs dictatorship that lasts for three decades, killing 100,000 opponents.

• 1961: CIA assassinates Patrice Lumumba, leader of the Congo, installs dictatorships lasting for 30 years.

• 1963 to 1973: U.S. invasion of Vietnam results in 3,000,000 deaths and 2,000,000 more in Laos and Cambodia plus 58,000 GI’s. Drops more bombs on North Vietnam than tonnage dropped in all of World War II.

• 1965: U.S. arms Indonesian dictator Suharto to massacre one million communists; CIA gives list of 5,000 communist leaders to be killed and “checks them off as they are executed.”

• 1973: CIA and U.S. Secy. of State Henry Kissinger arm Chile’s General Pinochet to seize power from Allende-elected government on 9/11/73 and kills, tortures thousands of opponents in fascist reign of terror.

• 1979: U.S. president Carter has CIA organize a jihad from Pakistan to oust Russians from Afghanistan in $30 billion, 10-year operation, training among others Osama bin Laden, leading to emergence of the Taliban’s seizure of power.

• 1980s: CIA trains and arms Contras to ravage Nicaragua and El Salvador attempting to defeat rebel forces, including training of death squads in Ft. Benning, Georgia to maintain dictatorships in Latin America.

• 1980s — U.S. supports fascist Apartheid in South Africa to enable U.S. corporations to profit from exploiting black workers in the mines and factories.

1980 to1988 — U.S. encourages Saddam Hussein to invade Iran, supplying U.S. weapons, cluster bombs and intelligence reports on where to bomb Iran; 8-year war ended in a stalemate, leaving one million dead.

• 1989: Bush, Sr. government invades Panama with 27,000 U.S. troops, killing up to 6,000 innocent civilians, using flamethrowers to burn dead bodies and bury them in mass graves. General Noriega ousted for alleged “drug trafficking.” Although he had been the on CIA payroll, he gave too much leeway to Japanese banks.

• 1991: Gulf War I; U.S. planes kill thousands of fleeing conscripted Iraqi youth on the ground in a “turkey shoot” from the air and tanks roll over them burying hundreds alive.

• 1990s: Clinton orders sanctions against Iraq and no-fly zone, causing the deaths of 500,000 children and 500,000 adults due to lack of medicines, food, and other essentials (according to the UN’s World Health Organization).

• 2001 to present: U.S. invades Afghanistan with a current total of 100,000 soldiers (50,000 from Bush and 50,000 from Obama), killing untold numbers of innocent civilians on the ground and from the air, destroying infrastructure, homes and villages in what is now the U.S.’s “longest war.”

• 2003 to present : U.S. invades Iraq with “shock and awe” leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands, displacing 5,000,000 from their homes (20% of the population), leveling many villages.

• “Plan Columbia” sends over a billion dollars of U.S. weapons to the country’s military to be used against workers and peasants in the fields.

• 2010 to 2011: Obama orders drone attacks into Pakistan to kill al Qaeda but kills many more civilians as “collateral damage.”

• CIA sends “suspects” in rendition program to countries using torture as “interrogation” method, many of whom turn out to be innocent.

• U.S. arms Israeli rulers in the billions of
dollars, used to enslave Palestinians.

• U.S., as the world’s largest weapons supplier, including land mines still exploding and killing hundreds, to back up fascist dictators worldwide.

Workers Fight Back Worldwide

• 1600s to 1800s: 400 slave revolts against slaveholders, including Nat Turner Rebellion.

• 1791 to 1804:  Rebellion against slavery in Haiti ousts French colonialists and established first free republic of ex-slaves.

• 1859: John Brown led abolitionist movement against U.S. slavery, killing pro-slavery forces; led raid on federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry to attempt to seize weapons to be distributed to slaves.

• 1871: Paris Commune: Workers in Paris in armed overthrow of autocratic French government and erect first state of workers’ power, workers’ councils ruling city from March to May.

• 1875: Battle of Little Big Horn: Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arajaho Native American tribes unite to rout 700 of U.S. General Custer’s 7th Cavalry Regiment, annihilating five of seven companies, killing Custer and 268 U.S. soldiers.

• 1877: First national railroad strike in U.S. history, turns into general strike after Pittsburgh militia refuses to fight workers and hands over their arms, used to rout Philadelphia militia. Railroad and steel workers seize and run Pittsburgh for four days (the “Pittsburgh Commune”).

• 1917: Russian Revolution: Workers and peasants led by Lenin’s Bolshevik Party overthrow dictatorial Czarist government, seize all foreign imperialist holdings and establish first communist-led workers’ state.

• 1918 to 1925: Soviet workers’ Red Army defeats invasion by 17 capitalist countries attempting to overthrow first workers’ state.

• 1919: Great Steel Strike of 350,000 steel workers, centered around Pittsburgh, led by communist William Z. Foster, organized the first industry-wide shutdown of the steel industry, uniting immigrant workers from 17 countries, setting the precedent which eventually unionized steel 18 years later.

• 1922: 10,000 West Virginia coal miners engage in largest armed workers’ struggle in U.S. history, using military tactics learned in World War I, march to unionize non-union coal mines in the state’s southern region in battle against thousands of company gunmen, state troopers and sheriffs.

• 1932: One million jobless workers take to the streets across the U.S. demanding unemployment benefits and jobs, organized by the communist-led National Unemployment Councils, later uniting with employed workers, joining their strike picket lines.

• 1936: Sit-down strike of General Motors auto workers in Flint, Michigan, led by communists, occupies GM plants for 44 days, sparking hundreds of similar actions across the U.S. Rout cops and counters National Guard with support of 40,000 workers from four states surrounding the plants. Leads to unionization of 4,000,000 workers in four years, sparking mass movement that wins the 8-hour day, 40-hour week, unemployment insurance and Social Security.

• 1930s to 1949: “Long March” by Chinese Communist Party led by Mao Tse-Tung, sets up base from which Red Army launches battles against — and eventually defeats — the occupying fascist Japanese war machine as well as the U.S.-backed Chang-Kai Shek dictatorship.

• 1941 to 1945: Soviet Workers’ State led by Josef Stalin and its Red Army engages 80% of Hitler’s armies, defeats the Nazi invaders and smashes Hitler fascism,  costing 27 million lives, moving all their factories east of the Ural Mountains to produce the weapons of war. It defeats the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad, producing the turning point of the Second World War, routing the Nazi hordes all the way to Berlin.

• 1959: Rebels overthrow the U.S.-backed Batista dictatorship in Cuba, confiscating $1 billion worth of U.S. corporate factories used to exploit the workers and farmers over 60 years.

• 1962: Fifty workers and students meet in New York City to form the Progressive Labor Movement, forerunner of the 1965 Progressive Labor Party, to eventually establish a new revolutionary communist movement after its abandonment by the old Communist Party.

• 1963 to 1973: U.S. invasion of Vietnam is defeated by workers’ and peasants’ People’s War, aided by millions protesting worldwide and GI’s fragging of officers, sabotage of six U.S. aircraft carriers, underground opposition and desertion of 503,000 GI’s, causing what a Marine historian defined as “The Collapse of the U.S. Army.”

• 1964: Harlem Rebellion: Workers and youth take to the streets to protest the police murder of a black teenager, battle cops, demand jobs and march with PLM’s newly-published  CHALLENGE newspaper as their “flag” (PLM is the only group in the city to back the rebels); this uprising is the forerunner of rebellions that spread to Newark, Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit where the 82nd Airborne Division is diverted from Vietnam to quell that rebellion.

• 1968: Workers and students in France organize general strike with a sit-down occupying one aircraft factory and spreads to ten million workers shutting down the country for ten days, demanding job security and reform of school system, impelling president Charles DeGaulle to ask for German troop support to stop the uprising.

• 1970: Workers’ nation-wide strike shuts down U.S. postal system, begun in NYC when group of young black workers leap to the stage at a union meeting and force union misleaders to flee, amid chants by thousands of “Strike! Strike! Strike!”

• 1973: PL organizes first sit-down strike in the auto industry in 37 years, leading 200 workers to shut Chrysler’s Mack Avenue Detroit plant.

• 1970s to 1990s: PLP leads attacks on Klan and neo-Nazis in series of confrontations involving over 100,000 anti-racists in the U.S.

• 2003: Ten million demonstrate worldwide against coming U.S. invasion of Iraq, largest global protest in world history.

• 2011: Millions of workers, youth and others take to the streets against dictatorships throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

U.S. Imperialism Attacks Rival Terrorist

The U.S. ruling class killing of Osama bin Laden — who was trained by the CIA (see box p. 2) — does nothing to help the international working class. It won’t stop one budget cut. It won’t let up on the attacks on workers’ wages and pensions worldwide. And it certainly won’t provide a single job for the 30 million unemployed in the U.S.

Firstly, it only increases the wasting of workers’ lives in a U.S. war zone that now stretches from Pakistan to Libya. Secondly, U.S. rulers will use it to intensify racism against Muslims in general and especially workers from Pakistan, as well as against immigrants. Thirdly, it is being used to foster extreme patriotic nationalism on behalf of U.S. bosses among the U.S. population.

Emboldened by their Abbottabad “triumph,” Obama & Co. are stepping up slaughter in Pakistan. On May 6, a CIA drone killed 15 people, some civilians, in North Waziristan.

Meanwhile, bin Laden’s death spurs retaliation by his Taliban allies. On May 7, with a string of suicide bombings, they launched a “spring offensive” for Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second biggest city and a future site along the pipeline U.S. oil interests want to build from Central Asia. And on May 8, a Baghdad prison revolt left 18 guards and inmates dead, including a senior commander of al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

Obama’s Hit on Bin Laden Could Backfire

Worse bloodshed awaits if bin Laden becomes a martyr, an anti-U.S. rallying focus throughout the turbulent Arab world. Obama’s hit on bin Laden could backfire into a “redirection of the Arab Spring… turning against the West,” worries Ed Husain of the Rockefeller-led Council on Foreign Relations. (CFR website, 5/4/)

The Exxon Mobil/JP Morgan Chase wing of U.S. imperialists bankrolling CFR can’t afford any further slippage in its control of the region’s energy supplies. They showed no hesitation to intervene militarily in Libya, a secondary oil source. Imagine how violently U.S. bosses would respond to a pro-bin Laden uprising in his homeland, Saudi Arabia, oil’s grand prize.

Grave dangers of wider war also arise from the nuclear Pakistani bosses’ open hostility to U.S. imperialism, laid bare by their harboring of bin Laden. Anthony Cordesman, a leading U.S. policy planer now embedded at the Rockefeller-funded Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), warned:

“As the events surrounding the death of Osama bin Laden make all too clear, Pakistan is passing through one of the most dangerous periods of instability in its history. This instability goes far beyond al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the war in Afghanistan….[T]hese broad patterns of violence in Pakistan have serious implications for Pakistan’s future, for regional stability, and for core U.S. interests.” (CSIS website, 5/4)

Ever since President Jimmy Carter’s war doctrine, “core interests” has been a code for oil and gas.

Pakistan A Loose Cannon in Future Global Conflict

Bin Laden-loving Pakistani bosses have the A-Bomb and a military 1.4-million strong. The country straddles key energy supply routes from the Persian Gulf and Caspian regions to burgeoning India and China. Pakistan’s generals, despite billions in U.S. aid, have not aligned decisively with Washington in matters relative to coming regional and global conflicts.

Pakistani ruler’s cooperation with U.S.-led NATO operations in Afghanistan becomes less supportive by the day. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s prime minister Gilani “looks forward to upgrade our status as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as soon as possible.” (Daily Times [Pakistan], 11/26/10) China and Russia lead the anti-U.S. SCO. Loose cannon Pakistan encompasses both the U.S.-proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline (through Kandahar) and the directly competing Iran-Pakistan-India project.

War-Bent U.S. Liberal Rulers Boost ‘U-S-A’ Blood Lust

Wishful thinking about militarizing masses for larger U.S. wars pervades liberal media coverage of anti-bin Laden celebrations. Drunken frat boys (almost all white) and racist cops shouting “U-S-A,” won’t win workers to the army recruiting offices.

However, the New York Times, U.S. liberal imperialists’ leading daily mouthpiece, hopes they can. The Times (5/8) trotted out a pro-war University of Virginia professor, Jonathan Haidt, to say, “Last week’s celebrations were good and healthy….In the communal joy of last week, many of us felt, for an instant, that Americans might still be capable of working together to meet threats and challenges far greater than Osama bin Laden.”

Clinton’s Hart-Rudman Commission determined that it would take a “Pearl Harbor-style attack on U.S. soil” to mobilize the public for the anti-Arab/Islamic oil wars needed by faltering U.S. rulers. The latter want to win the working class to even greater patriotic loyalty to their war plans, especially if any possible future al Qaeda attack should occur.

On May 1st, the day bin Laden died, our Party celebrated May Day, International Workers’ Day, not with class-betraying patriotism to the bosses but by organizing for communist revolution, both in Pakistan (see article p. 1) and across the globe (see inside pages) that will ultimately bury the war-making billionaires and their agents forever.

PAKISTAN, May Day: Workers March Against Capitalism

PAKISTAN, May 1 — May Day was celebrated in its historic manner but now the working class here is full of fury. The May Day marches sent a loud and clear message to the Pakistani bosses that workers won’t stand for miserable conditions. These demonstrations proved that the working class is the strongest power in the world if it decides to fight.

This year workers’ chants were more radical, their slogans more revolutionary, filled with red ideas, signifying they know who’s responsible for all their hardships. The opportunist, fake-left trade unionists were surprised at this anger and realized they’re losing control. When one May Day procession was transformed into a huge meeting in one town, the sellout union “leaders” rushed to sit on the stage but a group of workers pulled them down, saying you have no right to sit there. These chairs are not for people like you with your expensive cars, homes and clothes; they’re for the workers wearing torn cloths, living in miserable conditions with worn hands from hard work and tiring labor.

Price hikes, unemployment, layoffs, closed plants, shortages of electricity and gas, rising poverty levels, terrorism, anti-worker laws, lack of the free medicines in government hospitals, lousy schools, the increasing gap between poor and rich, privatization, corruption, nepotism, target killings, racism and fascism — all this confirms that the bosses have nothing to offer us as they shift their bank accounts to Switzerland, the UK and the U.S.

Puppet trade unionists tortured airline workers on strike at Pakistan International Airline (PIA) but workers’ actions proved they can win despite this and state oppression, in PIA and on the Railways.

Electricity and gas shortages stem from corrupt government officials getting commissions from private contractors in exchange for privatization. They spend billions to import power plants but no electricity is included in a national grid. In most cities there’s no electricity for 12-18 hours. In villages it barely lasts for the blink of an eye. This affects the daily lives of all wage workers.

The May Day marches also signified that the political parties are just playing a shell game, while they exploit the workers, trying to keep the decaying capitalist system alive. Most are either capitalists or feudalists, both organizing cartels to increase prices; landlords increase rents while never increasing the workers’ wages. From this they reap trillions.

Our Party is still very small but communists are painstakingly committed to revolution, capable of organizing strikes, demonstrations, marches, shut-downs and sit-ins. On May Day, our comrades and friends succeeded in winning more and more workers to these celebrations. We made plans to increase participation, distribution of Party literature and what to discuss. In big and small cities we gave out the pamphlet “Why We Fight for Communism” and leaflets about May Day, related to the workers’ miserable conditions.

In our speeches, our comrade and friends explained our politics and gave reasons why we struggle directly for communism and why we need to build an international communist party. We showed how all other political parties support the imperialist drive for profits and how the politicians are mouthpieces of international fascist capitalism. In Pakistan the ruling class is hiking the electricity tariff, directed by the International Monetary Fund, while the World Bank has recommended termination of all subsidies won by the working class.

Comrades and friends also emphasized that the bosses are living in luxurious homes while workers have no shelter. Even dwellings made of mud and leaves are being demolished; landlords and the government prevent them from occupying the lands “that don’t belong to them.” Police attack workers forced to spend nights in parks and are accused as “terrorists” so accusers can get rewards. The rulers ride in bullet-proof cars under heavy police and army escort while workers are killed in terrorist attacks.

The different racist, nationalist and fundamentalist parties enable target killings of poor workers just because of their language, color or sect, even if they have no tie to any party — all this to create fear and to prove their power!

The bosses need cheap labor for maximum profits so they’re making education more expensive. Therefore, working-class children can’t go to school while bosses force them into child labor. Such children get 35¢ to 47¢ for 12 hours. This child labor helps the phony unionist-led NGOs get money from the International Labor Organization.

These fake trade unionists are a tool of different political parties; they use them to avoid strikes, sustain bad working conditions and low wages. We’ve got to get rid of these “pocket unions” to make any advances. Low wages, no insurance, long working hours, layoffs, no benefits, no security, and no pensions or any other assistance if injured or killed — all pushed by these opportunist and puppet unionists. We must organize ourselves under the true communist leadership of PLP to build a base in these small fights to be able to win workers to see the need for international communist revolution.

Our comrades’ speeches are warmly welcomed by the workers, to huge applause. Many workers rushed to our comrades to obtain their contact numbers soon after they finished the marches and speeches. During all these activities we make good contacts. Now it’s our task to convert these contacts into recruits to the rank-and-file of our Party. We are confident we can win millions of workers to struggle to establish a classless society under the red banner of our international revolutionary communist party — PLP

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Osama bin Laden: the CIA’s Frankenstein

this is a reprint of a 2001 editorial


The New York Times (9/14/01) published an extensive article by Middle East expert Judith Miller, titled “Bin Laden: Child of Privilege Who Champions Holy War.” While it is no secret that Bin Laden was a creature of the U.S. intelligence services, Ms. Miller merely smoothes it over by saying, “…the U.S. had worked ‘alongside’ him to help oust the Russians from Afghanistan…” The U.S. “work” poured in $2 billion!

If anyone is to blame for the terrorist activities of Bin Laden, it’s the CIA.

Why are bin Laden and the U.S. bosses now enemies? Although the present conflict is posed as a “holy war,” it is basically for control of the oil wealth of Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden represents a section of the Saudi ruling class (from which he comes) that does not want to share this oil with Exxon-Mobil. U.S. bosses know if they lose Saudi Arabia after having lost Iraq, they won’t control the biggest oil producers of the cheapest oil in the world. Without it, U.S. imperialist supremacy is in serious question. Bush’s “holy war”for oil is likely to wind up with hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

CIA Trained bin Laden to Wage Anti-Communist Holy War

In 1979, bin Laden, who inherited a personal $300 million fortune from his father (a construction boss billionaire), decided to abandon his former life of luxury and dedicate himself to fight communism. When the Soviet army entered Afghanistan to support a pro-Moscow government there, bin Laden was recruited by the CIA to become the financier of the anti-Soviet “holy war.” In 1986, William Casey, CIA chief under Reagan-Bush Sr., approved an old proposal by the Pakistani intelligence services to recruit Islamic fundamentalists worldwide to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan.

While the Pakistanis did the recruiting, Saudi Arabia provided money and the U.S. gave political support and “funneled more than $2 billion in guns and money…during the 1980s. It was the largest covert action program since World War II (Washington Post, 7/19/92). Soon, 35,000 fundamentalists came to fight alongside the Afghani holy warriors. Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo III (1988) was based on this CIA vision of the world: then the “good” guys were the bin Laden “holy warriors” types fighting the “evil communist” Soviet empire.

Bin Laden and his followers learned all their tricks from the master terrorists: the CIA. “It was the CIA which taught him how to be bold…It was also the CIA which taught him the tricks of a secret war: how to move money around using ghost companies and off shore fiscal paradises, how to prepare explosives, how to use coded messages to communicate with his agents and avoid detection, how to retreat into a safe base after a big blow to the enemy…”(El Pais, Madrid, 9/14).

Soon after the Soviet Army left Afghanistan and the Soviet Union itself imploded, the U.S. and its Pakistani allies began supporting the most backward of all the holy warriors, the Taliban. The Pakistani intelligence services financed all of this by smuggling opium and heroin from Afghanistan. In 1991, when the U.S. led an imperialist coalition against Iraq, and U.S. troops were stationed in the Moslem “holy land” of Saudi Arabia, the fundamentalists united against the new “evil empire,” their old friends in the U.S. Bin Laden joined forces with other fundamentalist forces like Islamic Jihad of Egypt who had murdered Anwar Sadat, considered a lackey of the U.S. and Israel. These forces represent a section of the Middle Eastern ruling classes which use religion to cover their desire not to share the oil wealth with U.S, imperialism/Exxon-Mobil.

But even while bin Laden has become the number one bad guy on the U.S. hit list, some of his followers are still serving U.S. bosses. Last April, Secy. of State Colin Powell approved $43 million in “humanitarian” aid for the Taleban. Furthermore, many of the veterans of the Afghan “holy war” were fighting alongside the U.S.-supported Kosovo-Albanian “freedom fighters” during the 1999 air war against the former Yugoslavia. And more recently, some have fought with the Albanian forces against the government of Macedonia.

Again, when one talks about terrorism, don’t lose sight of the big ones: U.S. imperialism and its CIA. And don’t lose sight of what is behind the “holy war” between bin Laden and the U.S. bosses: control of oil profits.

Imperialists vs. Tea Partiers:Bosses’ Budget Brawl Masks Rulers’ Dogfight over War Needs

Obama averted a government shutdown on April 8 by brokering a flimsy budget compromise between two increasingly hostile camps of U.S. capitalists.

One is composed of imperialists who need ever-expanding and more costly U.S. wars. This faction’s power and wealth depend on forcibly reasserting its once almighty control of the world’s energy trade. Until 1975, Exxon, Mobil and Chevron — descendants of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil colossus — (along with ally Texaco) legally owned all of Saudi Arabia’s unsurpassed oil reserves. But today, rival oil and gas barons in China, Russia and Iran, unrest in the Arab world, and al Qaeda threaten the empire headed by U.S. flagship Exxon Mobil.

So, from Libya to Afghanistan, the U.S. war machine seeks to rescue the Rockefeller-Exxon wing of U.S. capitalists, at a cost of trillions of workers’ tax dollars; 27% of everyone’s federal taxes go to pay for these wars, which consume more than half of the Federal Budget.

On the other side of the split stand smaller, domestically-oriented bosses like oil billionaires Charles and David Koch, who consider war taxes an unnecessary burden. They rally popular support by bankrolling the anti-tax Tea Party. Koch Industries’ big new project, a proposed 900,000 barrel-per-day pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to Texas won’t require paying one dime for a single aircraft carrier, bomber or soldier. By contrast, Exxon’s newfound gushers in Iraq [see box] help explain why U.S. “Defense” chief Gates “suggested that American troops could remain [t]here for years.” (San Francisco Chronicle, 4/10)

Each side in this ruling-class divide, highlighted by the budget battle, employs think-tanks to organize opinion among fellow capitalists and mislead the working class. The Cato Institute, founded and funded by the Kochs, decries the U.S. invasion of Libya; calls for halving the Pentagon’s financing; and supported the government shutdown Obama sidestepped. The U.S. war machine does relatively little for the Kochs and allied minor-league bosses.

Thus, Cato fellow Doug Bandow complains, “Most American military forces are busy doing tasks which have no recognizable connection to U.S. security.” (Forbes, 4/4) But the far more influential Rockefeller-led Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has the opposite take. CFR big shot Larry Diamond called U.S. military intervention in rebellious Arab lands a matter of life and death for U.S. imperialism: “It’s an existential challenge for the United States, because our interests in the region are so profound.” (CFR website, 4/8)  The CFR cloaks Obama’s Mideast-North Africa oil grab with the liberal fig leaf of “humanitarian protection.”

Saudi Oil Treasure Is Imperialists’ Grand Prize

Holding onto Exxon’s reshaped but still sweetheart Saudi deal forms the core of U.S. strategy relative to the “Arab Awakening.” Exxon now enjoys first dibs on crude oil from the nationalized Saudi Aramco outfit at undisclosed contract prices far below the current going rate of well over $100 per barrel.

When the Saudi royal rulers “seized” the Rockefeller companies’ holdings in 1975 — with oil selling for $13 a barrel — they were assured “access to seven million barrels per day…at the rate of 47 cents per barrel.” (“Oil, God, and Gold: the Story of Aramco and the Saudi Kings,” Anthony Cave Brown, 1998). With figures adjusted for price rises and Chinese encroachment on the U.S. share, this racket still endures.

That’s why Obama, while backing pro-U.S. “rebels” in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia, endorses Saudi-backed “shoot-the-protestors” actions in Yemen and Bahrain. They both border Saudi Arabia. Obama’s recent $60-billion arms sale to the kingdom cements both Washington’s status as Saudi Aramco’s military overlord — dependent on U.S. weaponry — and Exxon’s status as its especially favored partner. However, when market conditions force Koch to buy Saudi oil, he pays prevailing prices.

The liberal war-making Rockefeller wing needs an all-out purge of imperialism-thwarting businesses like Koch as well as a mass, liberal, pro-government, ideological civil war against the Tea Party. But they can’t pull off either yet.

Ex-New York governor Eliot Spitzer tried to force the imperialists’ war agenda throughout Wall Street. But some bankers — more focused on their bottom line than on “sharing sacrifice” to counter China and other imperialists — torpedoed him.

Meanwhile, the rulers face a contradiction: On the one hand, capitalists cut workers’ services to make the working class pay for the current economic crisis. But this severely reduces their ability to win these same workers’ loyalty to Washington’s war agenda.

Headed for World War III, U.S. Rulers Need ‘Roosevelt 2’; But Obama’s Not Achieving It

In The Great Depression, President Roosevelt carefully constructed a host of federal job programs such as his Works Progress and Civilian Conservation schemes which — along with his concessions to mass (communist-led) working-class struggle for Unemployment Insurance, Social Security and the 40-hour week — won a great deal of worker support that U.S. rulers needed to eventually wage World War II.

Presidents Kennedy and Johnson tried similar policies — a militaristic “high-tech jobs” space program in response to the Soviet ‘Sputnik’ (the first shot into space); Medicare and voting rights for black people in response to the Civil Rights struggle. However, they had far less success for the cold war against the phony “communist,” but anti-U.S, Soviet empire. And their efforts eventually failed to win backing for their war of aggression in Vietnam.

Obama, faring even worse, has yet to come up with anything to mobilize the working class for the wars the rulers’ dominant imperialist faction must prepare to wage against Iran, China and Russia. Al Gore’s liberal environmentalism didn’t quite succeed in winning masses to government service. So Obama, or his successor, must find another smokescreen for imperialism.

There exists, nevertheless, a viable but demanding course for workers against worsening ruling-class-enforced war-making and cutbacks. It lies in relying neither on liberal/imperialist nor Tea Party politicians but on our class alone. Exposing the profit motive of both capitalist factions’ attacks on us — on the job, in schools, neighborhoods, universities, among rank-and-file GIs and in every mass organization we work in — can help build a mass base for our revolutionary, communist Progressive Labor Party. We have the long-term outlook of forcibly replacing the bosses’ unceasing wars and repression with rule by the working class in our own class interest.J

Two Million Iraqi Lives, 5,000 Dead GIs Reap Profit Bonanza for Exxon

When Exxon invests in Iraq’s oil, its government pays Exxon $1.90 for every barrel Exxon pumps out of the ground. But it costs Exxon far less to pump that oil. Nominally the oil Exxon gets from Iraqi soil belongs to the Iraqi government. But the 2010 “Entitlement” program forces Iraq to sell the lion’s share of that oil to Exxon and to British firms Shell and BP.

This would be at a price far lower than the current potential $120-a-barrel, as well as less than Iraq sells to other imperialists. This enables Exxon to make fabulous profits. And Exxon’s Iraqi oil fields have enormous potential. The West Qurna field’s yield alone could soon out-produce that of entire oil powerhouses like Venezuela, Kuwait and Nigeria.

So the invasion of Iraq enabled Exxon to gain these enormous profits over the dead bodies of two million Iraqis and 5,000 dead GIs.

Yes He Did: Obama Brings Racist Attacks on Workers to a Whole New Level For Capitalist Rulers

Obama Sets New Record in Racist Deportations

As part of the ruling class’ plan to step up racist terror against all workers President Obama, the first President of the so called “post-racial” era, has set a goal of deporting 400,000 immigrant workers in 2010, an all time high. And if all goes according to plan they expect to be able to deport 700,000 immigrants annually by 2013.[i] This increase in ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) terror represents a steady trend over the last eight years that has seen spending on immigration enforcement increase by 132% and deportations increase by 142%. In real numbers that adds up to over 2.6 million racist deportations, two thirds of which (1.7 million) were non-criminal deportations.[ii]

Representing the clearest form of American style fascism these raids are designed to intimidate Latin workers, both documented and undocumented, in order to drive down wages and further disorganize the working class. In one brazen example of the anti-working class nature of these raids ICE thugs raided the Smithfield Pork Plant in 2007 after workers began an organizing drive in the plant. In order to drive the point home, seven months later they raided the local neighborhoods.[iii]

Since then workplace and neighborhood raids have become common events. In 2008 ICE started raiding grocery stores in Latin neighborhoods in Texas checking both workers and shoppers’ IDs. In 2010 all the McDonalds Restaurants in the Phoenix area became targets of ICE raids.[iv] Local Neo-Nazi Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who regularly does neighborhood immigration sweeps, was responsible for the raids. Prior to the March Washington DC immigration protest in 2010 Obama had DC area restaurants and neighborhoods raided by ICE to intimidate the Latin community. Says one worker swept up in the raid, “For five years all I did was work. I came suffering, and I leave suffering.”[v]

Deadly Immigration Prisons

ICE holds around 32,000 immigrants in prison at any one time to await deportation. They use 363 detention sites across the country to handle their massive prisoner load. In January of 2009 of the 32,000 inmates 18,690 had no prior criminal conviction. With no judge to appeal to and nothing forcing authorities to press charges, immigrants can remain in these prisons for a very long time. During that same period in January nearly 10,000 inmates had been in prison for more than 31 days (which ICE considers the standard turnaround), 400 had been there for more than a year, 12 for at least three years, and one Chinese man had been there for over five years![vi]

Conditions in these prisons were described by a 2009 Amnesty International report as beyond the bounds of international human rights standards and far short of official ICE guidelines.[vii] Despite the fact that most prisoners are non-criminal offenders inmates are handcuffed and shackled and forced into overcrowded cells. After an ICE raid those slated for deportation could be shipped off to any number of prisons all over the country. Frequently a thousand miles from their homes inmates are not given immediate rights to a phone call or a lawyer sometimes leaving their families not knowing where they are for months.[viii]

There have been many complaints filed regarding the non-existent medical care available at these facilities. The New York Times reported that between October of 2003 and January of 2010 107 people died in ICE prisons. ICE officials worked overtime to cover up the details and circumstances of these deaths since many were due to abuse and lack of access to medical care.[ix]

In 2007 Guinean immigrant Boubacar Bah suffered an unexplained severe head trauma while imprisoned by ICE in New Jersey. Guards left Bah in an isolation cell for 13 hours before finally calling an ambulance. At the hospital Bah slipped into a coma and several days later eventually died. While he was still in a coma ICE officials discussed deporting him back to Guinea to avoid unnecessary questions about his condition. Later that same year an investigation into the death of Salvadoran immigrant Nery Romero revealed that he had committed suicide because of unbearable, untreated pain after ICE guards refused to administer his doctor prescribed painkillers. Hiu Lui Ng, a Chinese immigrant, would die from cancer while in ICE custody in 2008 after being repeatedly denied medical treatment that left his cancer undiagnosed.[x]

Many pregnant women rounded up in ICE raids are given no pre-natal care. In Arizona pregnant women are shackled to their beds during and after childbirth. Many don’t even find out what happened to their children until days after giving birth and are not allowed to nurse them until many months later. In 2008 Alma Chacón gave birth while both her hands and feet were shackled to the bed. She was unable to nurse or even hold her child for another 70 days after the birth. Another immigrant woman, Miriam Mendiola-Martinez, who gave birth in ICE custody in 2009 reports being shackled and left to wait in a small unventilated room with 20 other women as she awaited her pre-natal appointments. In the final two months of her pregnancy she had to sit on the floor because of the weight of the chains. She reports weeping frequently afraid that her sadness might hurt the baby.[xi]

The Militarized U.S.-Mexico Border

The intense drive to militarize the U.S.-Mexico border began with the Liberal Jimmy Carter. With the excuse that he was “protecting American jobs” he proposed to double the size of the Border Patrol and build the “Carter Curtain,” a wall separating San Diego from Tijuana, Mexico. During the Reagan and Bush Administrations the Border Patrol budgets were continuously inflated while Latin workers were demonized. Under Liberal leader Bill Clinton the ruling class launched Operation Gatekeeper which tripled the Border Patrol budget in five years and led to the construction of border walls in key cities.

The increased presence of Border Patrol agents and the creation of no-man’s lands in border cities forced Latin immigrants to try and cross through the deserts of the Southwest. According to an ACLU investigation the policies of Operation Gatekeeper led to the deaths of over 5,000 immigrants between 1994 and 2009.[xii] Various anti-racist groups have tried to mitigate some of the danger of this journey by placing water jugs in the desert for traveling migrant workers. Border Patrol agents and Minuteman fascists have aided in the murder of thousands of workers by slashing and emptying these life saving water jugs. During a particularly hot July in 2010 the Pima County morgue had to bring in a refrigerated truck to handle its overflow as it received an astonishing 59 immigrant bodies. It was the worst month for immigrant deaths in Pima County since July of 2006 when they found 68 dead in Pima’s deserts.[xiii]

The militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border has rapidly increased under Bush II and Obama. In July of 2010 Obama sent 1,200 National Guard soldiers to patrol the border. A month later he signed a $600 million bill to deploy 1,500 new Border Patrol agents and other police officers on the border as well as two drone aircraft.[xiv]

In the four years since the Secure Fence Act of 2006 the authorities have built 646 miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. The fence ranges between 15 and 20 feet high and has patrol roads paralleling it for Border Patrol vehicles to cruise.[xv] The fence has been criticized by many as a waste of money that does little to stem immigrant traffic across the border, but it should be understood that its real purpose goes far beyond stopping immigration. The fence stands as a visible symbol of the racist nationalism pushed by the U.S. ruling class. Its goal is to impress on workers’ minds a mentality of “us vs. them.”

Anti-Immigrant Hysteria Builds Deadly Racism

The anti-immigrant hysteria that has been stoked by the media and politicians to support the massive ICE terror operation has predictably led to increases in anti-immigrant, anti-Latino hate groups and violence. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) found that between 2003-2007 when CNN’s Lou Dobbs began his racist anti-immigrant rants that hate crimes against Latin workers increased by 40%! The SPLC also found that between 2008-2009 that the number of “Patriot groups” in the U.S. increased by 244%![xvi] These racist hate groups have strong anti-immigrant agendas and count among their more infamous members Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

This increase in racism and violence has been encouraged by a racist criminal justice system that does not view the murder of Latin workers as a crime. Four teens who brutally beat to death 25 year old Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah, PA in 2008 while shouting racist slurs only received misdemeanor assault and violation of civil rights convictions.[xvii] A month later when Jeffrey Conroy, a Long Island teen who liked to go “Mexican hopping” with his friends, stabbed to death Marcelo Lucero he was acquitted of murder charges and received only a first degree manslaughter conviction.[xviii] During the trial it came out that Conroy and his friends had regularly engaged in racist attacks on Latin workers. Between April and August of 2010 there were 11 different racist attacks on Latin workers in Port Richmond on Staten Island, NY. These attacks were fostered by capitalists who pit poor black workers against poor Latin immigrants and by police who cynically used the attacks to intensify their fascist police presence in Port Richmond.[xix]

In May of 2010 Seattle police brutally beat a Latino man while shouting racist epithets only stopping when they realized it was not the guy they were looking for.[xx] Despite the incident being videotaped no charges were filed against the officers. Later that month Border Patrol agents murdered Anastasio Hernandez with a taser in San Diego.[xxi] In June a Border Patrol agent in El Paso, TX shot and killed 15 year old Sergio Huereka while he stood on the Mexican side of the border.[xxii] INS has shown no intention of investigating or charging any of these officers.

New Arizona Law Connected to White Power Movement

On July 29, 2010 Arizona put its racist immigration law SB 1070 into effect. The law obligates all law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of every person they stop and anyone deemed “suspicious” of being in the country illegally. Given the law’s blatant modeling of American fugitive slave laws and Nazi “race hygiene” laws, it should come as no surprise that it was crafted by a member of the white power movement.

Kris Kobach, the author of SB 1070, is a lawyer for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) a group that the SPLC classifies as a hate group. FAIR gets its primary funding from the racist Pioneer Fund a group that funds research into “scientific” racism and eugenics.[xxiii] FAIR founder and current board member John Tanton has written that, “for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” FAIR president Dan Stein has crudely claimed that immigrants are engaged in “competitive breeding” aimed at diminishing the white majority.[xxiv]

The racism of FAIR is matched by those who have come out to support the law. Arizona state Senator Russell Pearce who sponsored SB 1070 has a long history with the white power movement. In 2006 he forwarded an email from the Neo-Nazi group the National Alliance titled “Who Rules America?” The article criticized what it saw as anti-racist multi-culturalism in the media and espoused a belief in Holocaust denial. Pearce has also been photographed hugging Pheonix resident and member of the Neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) JT Ready.[xxv]

JT Ready and his NSM thugs have taken Arizona’s recent legislation as an invitation to heighten their racist attacks on Latin workers. The group has been going on armed patrols of the Arizona border where they hold immigrant workers at gun point. One of the members of Ready’s group, Harry Hughes, has a history of racist violence against Latin workers. He has advocated murdering Latinos in order to scare others out of neighborhoods and even shot the dog of his Latin neighbors in order to intimidate them.[xxvi]

Now that the Obama Administration has challenged SB 1070 in court various hate groups from all over the country have begun to donate money to Arizona’s legal defense fund. Stormfront.org, the oldest and largest white power site on the internet, has even begun a fundraising campaign for Arizona.[xxvii]

Obama’s challenge to the Arizona law should not be seen as any victory for anti-racism, however. As shown above Obama is as dedicated to the racist ICE system as any other president. The administration’s challenge of the Arizona law is a jurisdictional one that hopes to keep the racist immigration terror in the hands of ICE and not the states. The legal challenge also helps to paint Obama as the good guy while he tries to shove through the equally racist DREAM Act.

Capitalism Needs Immigration

Under capitalism money and those that control it are free to travel all over the world to find workers to exploit. Only the working class is bound within national borders and severely punished for moving to find work. Capitalists control national borders as a way to control the working class. Immigration laws are used to create the deadly racism that pits one worker against another.

In the U.S. the first effort to control the border on the part of the ruling class came in the form of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act.[xxviii] A deliberate act of extreme racism, the law was less effective in stemming Chinese immigration than it was in breeding an atmosphere of hatred around Asian immigrant communities. This law created the conditions that allowed bosses to keep Asian workers in virtual slavery as railroad workers and miners on the west coast.

All over the world capitalists use racist immigration laws for the same purposes. In France the target is workers from Northern Africa, in Germany it is Turkish workers, in China it is workers from South East Asia. In all cases these laws are used to drive these populations further underground and make them easier to exploit. The end result is a divided working class and super-profits for the bosses as they use anti-immigrant racism to drive down all wages.

Capitalists punish immigrant workers, but it is capitalists who create the conditions that require workers to search the globe for work. What is called underdevelopment is not an original historical condition but a product of imperialism’s super exploitation.[xxix] It was European imperialism that destroyed the economies of Africa with over 200 years of theft. Yet now the European countries complain of the migration of African workers looking to escape mass poverty at home by going to Europe. 500 years of European and American imperialism in Latin America has created the enduring poverty that affects millions of workers there.

The mass immigration of Latin workers to the U.S. began 30 years ago as U.S. trained and funded death squads terrorized people in Central America and Colombia and U.S. sponsored neo-liberal economic policies destroyed local economies. The 1994 NAFTA agreement that the U.S. crafted instantly destroyed millions of Mexican farmers’ livelihoods by dumping heavily subsidized American corn into Mexican markets. The subsequent mass immigration was met with tightening immigration laws under Clinton and a marked increase in anti-immigrant racism.[xxx]

Obama’s DREAM Act is a Racist Nightmare for Workers

The Obama Administration has tried to use the controversy over the Arizona law to build support for its own Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR). The bill known as the DREAM Act allows for students between 12 and 35 at the time the law is enacted and who arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16 and graduated from an American high school to apply for a temporary citizenship. This citizenship is granted for six years during which time the person must either acquire a college degree, be enrolled in a college pursuing a bachelor’s degree for at least two years in good standing, or have committed to at least two years of military service.

Immigrant students typically come from the poorest sections of the working class and with Pell Grants and other federal financial aid cut off for immigrant students and most scholarships requiring proof of citizenship the ability to attend a four year university where the average yearly cost is $14,000 (at state schools!) is an impossible dream.[xxxi] With college cut off as a legitimate option for most immigrant youth the military becomes the only realistic option. This of course is not unplanned. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) commented in 2007 to the Army Times, “Under the DREAM Act, tens of thousands of well-qualified potential recruits would become eligible for military service for the first time. They are eager to serve in the armed forces during a time of war.”[xxxii]

The targeting of Latin immigrants by military recruiters dates back to 2003 and the Bush Administration. At that time the Pentagon made a plan to boost the number of Latinos in the military from 10% to 22%.[xxxiii] Four years later the Defense Department helped craft the DREAM Act as a conscious bid to boost the military’s still sagging recruitment numbers. A 2009 study by the RAND operated National Defense Research Institute again emphasized the recruitment of Latin youth as the key to meeting recruitment goals.[xxxiv]

The DREAM Act has other problematic features as well. Anybody wishing to apply to receive possible benefits from the Act will have to voluntarily turn themselves in to authorities permanently marking them as subject to arrest and deportation.[xxxv] For high school age kids who are seeking temporary citizenship status to attend college this means exposing the immigration status of their parents and family and making them subject to arrest.

Perhaps the least known fact about the DREAM Act is the extremely small percentage of the immigrant population that will even be eligible for citizenship through it. Of an estimated population of 11.1 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. only 2.1 million (19%) would be eligible for legal status under the DREAM Act according to a study from the Migration Policy Institute. And of that 2.1 million the MPI estimates that only 825,000 would actually be able to achieve full legal status.[xxxvi] That amounts to only 7.4% of the total population of undocumented immigrants!

Anti-Immigrant Laws an Attack on All Workers

Racist terror has been the preferred weapon of choice for the U.S. ruling class in its struggle to keep workers divided and oppressed. Immigration laws are designed to terrorize not just immigrant workers but all workers of color who now have to fear being beaten or murdered by racist thugs or rounded up by the police. The racist intentions of the new anti-immigrant laws are barely concealed. A new law being discussed in Arizona would target so called “anchor babies” criminalizing children born to immigrant women.[xxxvii] This law has its precedent in the 1935 Nazi Nuremberg Laws that criminalized human beings for the simple act of being born. Despite all of the “law and order” rhetoric the intention of these laws is clear as news agencies report that Latin workers are “fleeing Arizona” (the spear head of this racist terror campaign).[xxxviii]

These laws further institutionalize and intensify the fascist American police state, the most oppressive in the world with over 2.6 million prisoners. The intentions of the Obama Administration to carry out and further this organized terror were made clear when he made fascist former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano (a staunch supporter of Hitlerite Joe Arpaio) the head of the Department of Homeland Security. Obama has cleverly used workers’ outrage at Arizona’s efforts to re-instate Apartheid to build support for his fascist DREAM Act; an act that is designed to force immigrants into the military to be cannon fodder for imperialist wars. The bosses’ hope that the DREAM Act will both build nationalism among immigrants while maintaining the capitalists’ carefully cultivated system of anti-immigrant racism. Obama’s actions make it clear that he wants both the DREAM Act and continued and intensifying police terror.

Workers have taken to the streets by the hundreds of thousands in the U.S. to voice their opposition to this new Apartheid, but like Bush, Obama has shown that his allegiance lies with ruling class exploiters not workers. The truth is that racism is capitalism’s lifeline, its source of super profits and its primary weapon against the working class. Still American workers could learn from the international fight-back against anti-immigrant racism. In France a multi-racial, multi-national strike has lasted longer than eight months as workers demand citizenship rights and the end to threats of deportation.[xxxix] Migrant workers in China are leading strikes for higher wages and safer working conditions shutting down a Honda plant in Guandong and two Toyota plants in Tianjin.[xl] But these reforms will ultimately not solve workers’ problems, for workers to survive in dignity and not in fear we need an organized communist party and ultimately communist revolution!

 


[i] America’s Voice, “Obama Administration Immigration Deportations Exceed Bush’s Record,” 5/20/10; Stewart Lawrence, Counterpunch, “Obama Reneges on Key Agreement with Immigration Advocates,” 105/10.

[ii] America’s Voice.

[iii] Center for Immigration Studies, “Immigration Raids at Smithfield,” 7/09.

[iv] AP, “21 People Arrested During Immigration Raids at Area McDonalds,” 3/26/10.

[v] Washington Post, “Raids Throw Shadow Over Immigration Reform Rally,” 3/22/10.

[vi] Global Detention Project, “United States Detention Profile,” 3/09.

[vii] Amnesty International, “Jailed Without Justice: Immigration Detention in the USA,” 3/09.

[viii] NPR, “Fresh Air,” 12/10/09.

[ix] NYT, “Officials Hid Truth of Immigrant Deaths in Jail,” 1/10/10.

[x] NYT, “Officials Hid Truth of Immigrant Deaths in Jail,” 1/10/10; NYT, “Documents Reveal Earlier Immigrant Deaths,” 1/10/10.

[xi] New America Media, “Pregnant and Shackled: Hard Labor for Arizona’s Immigrants,” 1/26/10.

[xii] ACLU, “U.S.-Mexico Border Crossing Deaths are a Humanitarian Crisis, According to Report from ACLU and CNDH,” 9/30/09.

[xiii] NYT, “Water Drops for Migrants: Kindness, or Offense?” 9/26/10; Phoenix New Times, “Blood’s Thicker Than Water: As Thousands Die in the Arizona Desert as a Result of U.S. Border Policy, an Army of Activists Intervenes,” 2/25/10; Seattle Times, “Ariz. Desert Crossing Lures Migrants, Despite Deadly Risks,” 9/2/10.

[xiv] CBS News, “National Guard Troops Deploying to U.S.-Mexico Border August 1st,” 7/19/10; Democracy Now, “Obama Signs $600M Bill to Increase Militarization of U.S.-Mexico Border,” 8/19/10.

[xv] AP, “Fence Alone Can’t Plug Porous Border,” 5/28/10.

[xvi] NPR, “All the Rage,” 4/1/10; SPLC, “’Patriot’ Groups, Militia Surge in Numbers in Past Year,” 3/2/10.

[xvii] The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, “Confronting the New Faces of Hate: Hate Crimes in America 2009,” 6/09.

[xviii] NYT, “Guilty Verdict in the Killing of Long Island Man,” 4/19/10.

[xix] Racism Review, “Mexican Immigrants Target of Hate Crimes on Staten Island,” (updated) 8/5/10; NYT, “Attacks on Mexicans Leave Neighborhood in Turmoil,” 7/30/10; CHALLENGE, “Black and Latino Workers Unite to Defeat Bosses’ Racism,” 9/8/10.

[xx] Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “Videotaped ‘Stomping’ Dominates Seattle Top Cop Selection,” 5/9/10.

[xxi] NBC San Diego, “Illegal Immigrant Shot with Taser Dies,” 6/1/10.

[xxii] MSNBC, “Mexico Slams Border Patrol Shooting of Teen,” 6/10/10.

[xxiii] SPLC, “Hate Group Lawyer Drafted Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Law,” 4/28/10; PLP Pamphlet, “Racism, Intelligence, and the Working Class,” February, 1995.

[xxiv] SPLC.

[xxv] Ibid.

[xxvi] SPLC, “Neo-Nazi Official Patrolling Arizona Border Lauds Violence,” 7/29/10.

[xxvii] SPLC, “Hate Groups Donate to Arizona Law’s Defense,” 7/13/10.

[xxviii] See Andrew Gyory, Closing the Gate: Race, Politics, and the Chinese Exclusion Act.

[xxix] Confronting the myth of “underdevelopment” social critic Michael Parenti notes, “The lands of Asia, Africa, and Latin America have long produced great treasures of foods, minerals and other natural resources. That is why the Europeans went through all the trouble to steal and plunder them. One does not go to poor places for self-enrichment. The Third World is rich. Only its people are poor—and it is because of the pillage they have endured.” Michael Parenti, Against Empire, (San Francisco: City Light Books, 1995), p 7.

[xxx] See David Bacon, Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants; Mike Davis, Planet of Slums.

[xxxi] The Huffington Post, “The Average Cost of College: How Much Is It?”  8/25/10.

[xxxii] Army Times, “Bill Would Grant Citizenship for Service,” 7/16/07.

[xxxiii] The Independent (UK), “Pentagon Targets Latinos and Mexicans to Man the Front Lines in War on Terror,” 9/10/03.

[xxxiv] UCSD Professor Jorge Mariscal quoted in the documentary Yo Soy El Army; RAND National Defense Research Institute, “Military Enlistment of Hispanic Youth: Obstacles and Opportunities,” 2009.

[xxxv] CHALLENGE Supplement, “Racism – Capitalism’s Key Strategy to Maximize Profits and Divide Working Class Then and Now,” 6/23/10.

[xxxvi] Washington Post, “Number of Illegal Immigrants in U.S. Drops, Report Says,” 9/1/10; Migration Policy Institute, “DREAM vs. Reality: An Analysis of Potential DREAM Act Beneficiaries,” 7/10.

[xxxvii] Time Magazine, “Arizona’s Next Immigration Target: Children of Illegals,” 6/11/10.

[xxxviii] USA Today, “Hispanics Flee Arizona Ahead of Immigration Law,” 6/9/10.

[xxxix] Challenge, “End Nears for Undocumented Immigrants’ Anti-Racist Strike,” 7/7/10.

[xl] TV Asahi (Japan), “Labor Demands Rising in China After Honda Strike,” 6/15/10; Business Week, “Strike Hits Toyota’s China Production as Honda Workers Return,” 6/19/10.

Murderers Without Borders Imperialists Cloak Libyan Oil Grab with Phony ‘Humanitarianism’

Obama’s invasion of oil-rich Libya marks U.S. imperialists’ first major use of their phony “Responsibility To Protect” (RTP) excuse for waging wider wars. The RTP doctrine, adopted at a 2005 UN summit, despite China’s and Russia’s objections, eliminates capitalist national borders as obstacles to imperialist intervention. The invaders have only to assert that they’re “rescuing the locals.”

Bombing and missile raids by the U.S. (with junior partner Britain and temporary ally France) supposedly aim at saving Libya’s citizens from dictator Qaddafi, under RTP. But the wave of Mideast rebellions made U.S. rulers and their imperialist allies shaky over maintaining the oil deals they’ve made with each other and Qaddafi over past years.

Obama was very ready to allot hundreds of millions for this latest war while cutting billions from education and social service budgets, causing massive layoffs of teachers and other government workers. The initial U.S. Navy attack with 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles alone cost nearly $100 million. As of March 29, the Pentagon had spent $550 million in the first ten days.

The upsurge that spread from Tunisia to Algeria to Egypt, where thousands of workers struck for higher wages and against mass unemployment as they did in Iraq — and continues to spread throughout the region — made the oil-thirsty imperialists nervous. Therefore, the U.S.-led campaign focused on protecting the Libyan assets of oil giants Exxon Mobil, Marathon, and Occidental (U.S.); BP (U.K.); and Total (French). At this writing, NATO air strikes were helping pro-U.S. rebels seize two oil refineries and a strategic export terminal. On March 27, they captured two oil-export ports.

Of course, the U.S. chose not to “rescue” protestors in Bahrain, the base of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, and allowed its government and invading Saudi troops to kill hundreds to ward off any rebellion that might eventually threaten Saudi’s oil fields, the world’s largest.

In a March 24 article, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), U.S. imperialism’s top think-tank — bankrolled by Exxon Mobil-JP Morgan Chase — trumpets U.S.-led killing in Libya as “A New Lease on Life for Humanitarianism.” Its author, war criminal Stewart Patrick, who helped shape Afghan strategy in Bush, Jr.’s State Department, called RTP, as executed in Libya, the “biggest challenge to state sovereignty in three and a half centuries.”

Patrick was referring to Obama’s effective trashing of the long-lived 17th century Treaties of Westphalia. Those Treaties had enshrined the existence of capitalist nation states and defined invasion — the rulers’ ultimate means of sorting out differences — as war.

But today, after the demise of the old communist movement, U.S. bosses, though in decline, temporarily enjoy unequaled ability to project military force anywhere on earth. So Obama & Co. claim the RTP right to selectively invade any country, cloaked as “saviors” rather than aggressors. Patrick writes, “it [RTP] makes a state’s presumed right of non-intervention contingent on its ability and willingness to protect its citizens and threatens collective, timely, and decisive action if it does not.”

Liberal Rulers’ ‘Responsibility To
Protect’ = License to Invade and Kill

In addition to the elite, Rockefeller-backed CFR, the lethal, hypocritical “responsibility-to-protect” pretext has a champion in Human Rights Watch.  HRW, a mass organization founded and funded by billionaire swindler and Rockefeller ally George Soros, lures well-meaning people to liberal causes that aid U.S. imperialism. In a March 25 web article praising both the Libyan invasion and RTP, Human Rights Watch approved killing civilians:

“Opposing forces may attack a military target that is making use of human shields, but it is still obligated to determine whether the attack is proportionate — that is, that the expected loss of civilian life and property is not greater than the anticipated military advantage of the attack.” Oil facilities, presumably, meet the callous cost-benefit test. HRW also urges U.S. “humanitarian intervention” in Ivory Coast’s violent presidental dispute in which China and the Western imperialists back opposing sides.

U.S. Bosses in War Policy Disarray: Isolationist Tea Partiers vs. World War III Imperialists

But not all U.S. capitalists embrace Obama’s North African foray. In fact, fearing opposition from forces lacking imperialist interests (personified by Tea Partiers), Obama did not consult Congress before raining missiles on Tripoli.  More importantly, to some power brokers within the dominant imperialist wing of U.S. rulers, Libya pales beside bigger worries:

“We clearly have much more vital interests to protect in Yemen and Bahrain [neighbors of the U.S. oil empire’s cornerstone Saudi Arabia — Ed.]” says Rockefeller Brothers Fund trustee and former State Department planner Nicholas Burns. (Boston Globe, 3/22/11) But, says Burns. “We have no choice now but to lead in order to save Libya from its dictator and to redeem U.S. power, credibility, and purpose in the Middle East.”

Richard Haass, CFR president and advisor to mass murderer of Iraq War I, Colin Powell, looks even farther down the road to his masters’ ultimate requirements. On Libya, he expressed doubts (CFR website, 3/21/11) about “committing the United States to another costly foreign intervention at a moment we owe it to ourselves…to get our economic and military houses in order so we can meet our obligations at home and be prepared to meet true wars of necessity (North Korea for one) if and when they arise?” Haass speaks not so indirectly about U.S. imperialists’ needs to militarize the nation for all-out war with China (North Korea’s enabler).

Supporting oil-thirsty Pentagon-backed Libyan rebel leaders as “freedom fighters” — however courageous the rank and file is — leads down a political dead end. Rather workers must build for the ultimate destruction of the profit system that constantly produces regional resource wars, like Libya, as preludes to global inter-imperialist conflict.

That’s why PL’ers and our supporters must expose the racist exploitative profit system and its oppression at every turn, in factories and unions, among GI’s and in schools, churches and all mass organizations. More important, we must up the ante of the class struggle in these areas, escalating and leading the anti-racist fights against the ruling class and its lackey politicians.

Consequently, as the class struggle intensifies, the rulers will strike back with their state power (as they’re doing in the Mideast and in Wisconsin). This can be used still further to turn the class struggle into a “school for communism.” This means winning workers and their allies to see that the system cannot be reformed and to understand that building PLP and it’s goal of organizing a communist revolution — that will end the capitalists’ deadly dogfights and put the working class in power — is the only road to follow.

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Rebels or Racist?

“Libyan Rebels Accused of Targeting Blacks, reads the headline in the March 4 Los Angeles Times. The article reports that, “Many innocent Africans and black Libyans have faced detention, beatings or intimidation while being accused of accepting money to fight for Qaddafi.” They “are actually black Libyans or Africans who have been living in Libya for years….

“Africans recently interviews in Benghazi said they had been threatened, beaten and driven from their homes by gunmen calling them mercenaries.”

“A spokesman for the rebels’ ‘military council’ said about 150 men were being held at several locations in and around Benghazi.”

Another LA Times article (3/24) headlined “Libyan Rebels Appear to Take A Leaf from Qaddafi’s Playbook” reported that, “For a month gangs of…gunmen have roamed the city, rousting Libyan blacks and immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa from their homes and holding them for interrogation as ‘suspected’ mercenaries or ‘government spies….’

“The prisoners and detainees were… [imprisoned in] dank cells that stank of urine and rot — the same cells that once housed some of the dissidents now aligned with the rebel movement…”

Not too much “democracy” here.

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