Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Russia’s Move in Syria Raises the Stakes and Alters the Board

Just two weeks ago, we pointed out that Turkey was playing a dangerous game as inter-imperialist rivalry was intensifying in the Levant. We discussed the fact that Russia was now raising the stakes by placing their military assets in the Levant. Over the years, we have discussed the fact that Russia was not going to abandon its only warm water Mediterranean military base at Tartus.

Though Qatar did want to build a natural gas pipeline through Syria that would have ameliorated Turkey’s, and the rest of the EU’s, reliance on Russian gas, Syria said no and so began the need for regime change. The US, Jordan, Turkey, and the Gulf Cooperation States (GCC), especially Saudi Arabia, then turned what would have been a minor uprising at best into a full blown civil war along religious lines. Communists know that all religions are different types of false consciousness meant to make the working class submit to the ruling class and tolerate the horrors of modern day capitalism. The imperialists are now using religion as a divisive form of nationalism to get the working class to slaughter each other in a proxy war over borders and pipeline routes.

Turkey was trying to play a dangerous game, and it looks like it blew up in Ankara’s face. The delusions of the Ottoman past made theme think that they could be a regional player pushing a “no fly zone” in support of al Qaeda in Syria (who used to be the bad guys) and a “safe zone” in support of Islamic State and against the Kurds to the north. Well, as of now, it looks like that isn’t happening. As we discussed, Russia has offered Turkey one heck of a deal with the Turkish Stream pipeline and Russia continues to supply almost 60% of Turkey’s natural gas. Well, winter is coming and with it will be cold weather, the need for people to cook, and all of the other things the working class depends on for natural gas. Russia has shown through the example of Ukraine how it will shut off natural gas if it needs to for political leverage.

So, Turkey is caught on the horns of a dilemma: it can directly engage militarily with Russia in Syria, thus breaking international law and possibly inciting WWIII due to the currently existing status of forces agreement that would require China to intervene on Syria’s behalf as well as Iran and Russia or they can just continue to arm and fund al Qaeda and its allies in the region. On top of that, the US is basically ignoring Turkey’s calls that the Kurds are the real enemy and ISIS is just a useful enemy by arming the “from Iraq, to Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters who in recent months have pushed the Islamic State from a major portion of northern Syria along the Turkish border.” So, the place where Turkey wanted to put a no Kurd “safe zone” along the border will most likely now be part of a US backed Kurd offensive against ISIS.  In the face of its current impotence, Ankara is having a complete shit-fit.

The bosses’ press in the US is carefully leaving out the fact that the majority of the “rebels” are actually fascists. Even the Free Syrian Army (FSA) has bedded down with al Qaeda. These fascists, like all fascists before them, will murder workers who do not fit their narrow ideas as to what constitutes the right type of national or racial identity. Like the Nazis, al Qaeda groups like The Army of Islamic Conquest or Jabhat al Nusra will murder whole villages who are a different religion than them. Again, the ideology of religion has just as much of a material basis as race, nationality, and gender – all of which are socially constructed, generated, and reinforced because capitalism needs to divide the working class, get us to identity with a certain group of bosses, and fight amongst ourselves for their benefit.

It’s quite ironic and completely illustrates the tragedy of history and the horrible effects of the fall of the Old Communist Movement (OCM) that the US is having a temper tantrum as Russia bombs the snot out of its moderate jihadist fascists as the Taliban are in the process of overrunning Kunduz. The historical parallels of Afghanistan are now being echoed in Syria. In Afghanistan, it was the then fully revisionist and imperialist USSR being invited in by their allied government to fight the fascist mujahedeen who were armed to the teeth by the US and its allies. These “few stirred up Muslims” have been the cause of death for thousands and thousands of workers, many in the US, around the world. This pattern is now being illustrated as Russia is now sending in “advisors” and “trainers” as well as a wide array of mechanized forces and some pretty devastating air power. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) forces have not been fully eroded and the Iranian backed militias in Syria like Hezbollah and the National Defense Forces (NDF) still have enough man power to fight on the ground for now, so there is technically some truth to Russia’s assertion that they don’t want to put troops on the ground in Syria now, however, as change is the only constant, and should the SAA lose ground to the US/NATO/GCC backed “moderate” al Qaeda allied Islamist groups heretofore dubbed “the rebels” then Russia is more than willing to sacrifice blood and treasure for oil. China is waiting in the wings and has intimated that they are willing to send in troops to keep the “East Turkistan” Uighur movements from gestating fascist terrorists who have murdered hundreds in the Xinjiang Province.

It is the working class that will continue to suffer when they are given choices like which murderous fascist regime to support in Syria, the US backed terrorists or the Russian backed butcher. It is our children that will be sent to fight and die for oil pipelines, big money geopolitics, and Exxon/Mobil/BP/Shell/Lukoil et al’s profit margins. Workers in The US, Turkey, Russia, Syria, Qatar, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Europe, and China, just as workers all over the world, have the same enemy and the same fight against capitalism.

The US’s nightmare scenario is playing out as the EU “will try to bring Russia and the United States together to resolve the Syrian situation in tandem. It looks like the Ukraine and Syria crises will be inexorably linked with broader negotiations, just as Russia had planned, whether the United States is ready to admit it or not.” So, as the US metaphorically continues to play checkers like a cowboy outside of a burned Native American village, confident of its superiority and ever-expanding empire, Russia continues to play chess and use simple moves to change the balance of power on the global board. The US has been constantly trying to lead and shape the world events in order to encircle and blunt Russia’s growing power, but, as of now, they are now in a reactive mode. They are not leading, but they are reacting and attempting to shape a narrative to the working class (in other words, lie lie and lie) in order to get us to support their support for the very same kind of fascist scum that blew up the Twin Towers, has butchered thousands in Nigeria, sells preteen girls into sex slavery in Iraq, and is currently in a major offensive in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Russia has taken the initiative, for now, in shaping world events and negotiations.

So, as Israel gets ready to send more troops and settlers to the Golan Heights simultaneously with al Qaeda taking more territory there, and Russia and the US bomb more and more cities so workers there continue to die as collateral damage, Communist revolution is more needed than ever. We need a real choice, not which fascist or imperialist to support, but an answer to the never-ending wars that capitalism requires due to imperialist expansion. The US empire will defend itself with our blood, just as Russia will. It is up to us to join and build the Progressive Labor Party in order to end this bloodshed once and for all.

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More workers dead in Bangladesh and Afghanistan

 

The revolution cannot come quick enough. Though thousands of workers from all over the world are organizing and fighting back but without state power and a Communist Party to take it and provide leadership. More workers have died in Afghanistan, this time by a mining accident that the state’s playing pass the buck with. Meanwhile, the need for maximum profit continues to murder our working class brothers and sisters in Bangladesh.

The U.S. government is still shut down due to the internecine capitalist class rivalry. They’re squabbling over profits is keeping science from advancing, keeping over a million workers from a pay check, and eroding the image of the U.S. overseas. How close is the U.S. ruling class from a Caesar moment? The moment when the republic becomes the empire, the moment when congress doesn’t work?  The moment when the imperialists wonder if they can allow their democracy to inhibit their needs to develop and build the fascistic discipline that they need the smaller capitalists and the working class to follow? The moment when full blown fascism comes to the U.S. will be a qualitative shift in the amount of surveillance the state does to us, the violence the police use against us, the amount of laws the law breaks to protect their system of profit and exploitation, and may not look much different than the U.S. that wantonly murders workers all over the world with impunity.  

Each and every day the absurdity of capitalism’s anarchic production completely baffles the mind.  It is the working class that continues to suffer the shutdown that internecine capitalist rivalry promulgated.  Science is halted, disease tracking and food inspections are offline, basically what little protection the capitalist state did provide for the working class is now being halted due to the needs for the parasitical capitalists to suck their profit from our veins.

These imperialists are pushing their position around the globe like a game of chess.  They will spend our lives, our blood, our children’s blood, anything, so long as they can preserve their power and profit.  The need for a mass Communist movement led by the Progressive Labor Party fighting against all forms of false consciousness like nationalism, racism, and sexism is more important than ever.  Join us! 

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2011: Crisis-driven Bosses Attack, But Class Struggle Alive and Well

The events of 2011 served to remind us of two important aspects of capitalist society. First, the bosses of the world, caught in a sharpening struggle against their rivals and a spreading financial crisis, always have their knives out to assault the working class. Attacks intensified against our jobs, education, health, homes and families. The myths of democracy, fairness and opportunity for workers were exposed by a worldwide reality: we live under the bosses’ dictatorship. The past year made clear that regardless of national boundaries, no matter the “race” or gender of the boss, the ruling class will eagerly consign workers to hell on earth for the smallest gain in profit.

The ultimate expression of the boss’s callousness to sacrifice the lives of workers is imperialist war, of which there was no shortage in 2011. The U.S., still the main capitalist power in the world, continued its racist massacres in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan in hopes of securing the Middle East’s oil and natural gas. Without the growth of a new worldwide communist movement, the prospects for 2012 and beyond are not much better.

While the U.S. remains the dominant power, other rivals, most prominently China, are gaining power — militarily, economically and politically. This challenge does not go unnoticed by the U.S. ruling class. The recent announcement by President Obama (the Nobel Peace Prize winner) that U.S. Marines will be stationed in northern Australia, alongside the recent diplomatic overtures to Myanmar, which borders China, signal a future where direct military conflict between the U.S. and China will be increasingly likely.

But the deadly maneuvering of the ruling class is only one side of the story of 2011. The second lesson, clearly visible from a quick look back through the pages of any of the bosses’ newspapers, is that workers are not meekly accepting these attacks. Class struggle is alive and well.  The list of places where large-scale rebellion rocked the bosses this past year is a long one: Algeria, Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, England, France, Greece, Israel/Palestine, Libya, Mexico, Pakistan, Spain, Syria, the U.S., and more.

To advance the cause of communist revolution, the international Progressive Labor Party has joined and led some of these militant struggles. In the pages of CHALLENGE, these battles and many other reports of class struggle were presented with a communist analysis.  If we are ever to defeat the murderous bosses and end their reign of terror, the working class must transform these narrow reform struggles into a fight for the working class to take state power — a fight for communist revolution.

The International PLP Advances

In New York City, the working class took on the racist Department of Education and its plan to impose Jim Crow-style segregation at the John Jay Campus high schools. In Israel/Palestine, a Summer Project participated in the fight against racist evictions and the housing shortage gripping workers there. In Haiti, we struggled to help rebuild a shattered society with communist principles of international solidarity and equality.

PL’s Summer Project in Haiti included a “Freedom School” for the discussion of communist principles. “Serve the working class” became more than a motto; it was put into practice when Party members created a clinic to serve the medical needs for Haitians in tent camps. The racist health care system was also a focus for comrades in the U.S. In New York we fought against the racist closing of Brookdale Hospital. Comrades and friends in Philadelphia fought to prevent the firing of a trusted hospital coworker. In Chicago, where hospital bosses tried to give patients a death sentence by transferring them to a decrepit facility, PL and others fought back.

Chicago was also the battleground for the heroic efforts of students and parents (primarily mothers), supported by the Party, to prevent the racist closing of the Whittier School library. Providing an example for the Occupy movement to follow, the parents (primarily mothers) and students at this majority Latino school, supported by the Party, seized the building and renamed it “La Casita.” For nearly a month, they held off the racist dogs of the Chicago Department of Education from carrying out their plan. Our comrades helped in many ways, from medical care to overnight guard duty. All the while they pointed out that whether we won or lost this particular battle, the bosses would still have state power. Our job is to fight not only “our” bosses, but bosses everywhere.

In Pakistan and Bangladesh, communists infused labor struggles in garment factories and universities with a vision of a society based on need rather than profit. In Mexico, where flooding threatened to destroy a community of 200,000 people, the Party explained that if our communist predecessors in the Soviet Union could move entire factories over the Ural mountains in three months during World War II, we could protect their city — if we had state power.

In these places and others around the world, CHALLENGE was ever-present. It consistently hammered home the point that it is only when we take on capitalism itself — when we transform battles against corrupt dictators, greedy bankers and fascist school boards into a world-wide communist movement — will we achieve workers’ liberation.

Arab Spring and Wall Street Occupy Working Class’s Imagination

Perhaps the most significant expressions of working-class fight-back were the upheavals in North Africa and the Middle East, collectively dubbed the Arab Spring, and in the Occupy Wall Street movement, a worldwide rage at the inequality of wealth that is the hallmark of capitalism.

The Arab Spring began with a rebellion in Tunisia that followed the self-immolation of a desperate young worker. But the uprising was fueled by a 13% official unemployment rate (about 30% for youth), skyrocketing prices for food, and political corruption. Similarly, in Egypt, while the bourgeois media focused on Cairo’s Tahrir Square and the struggle for “democracy,” the real battles were over rampant unemployment and the price of food. Strikes at Egypt’s textile mills, pharmaceutical plants, chemical industries, the Cairo airport, the transportation sector, banks, ports and the Suez Canal are the primary source of revolutionary optimism.

Workers throughout the world cheered on scenes from Tunisia and Tahrir Square, which makes the outcome of these battles all the more painful. In Egypt, ruthless dictator Hosni Mubarak was first replaced by a ruthless military and now in addition by the even more ruthless Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists (see CHALLENGE, 10/19). In Tunisia, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted and elections were held in October, but unemployment still crushes the youth there. This is the essence of reform struggles. However militant it may be, any struggle that fails to attack the entire capitalist system will simply replace one set of bosses with another. For workers, the promise of a new society has been met with the reality of continued joblessness and misery.

Nonetheless, the international working class proudly looked on as workers in Tahrir Square held up signs reading, “We are all Wisconsin,” a reference to the 100,000-strong protest against the attack on public sector workers in that state. Months before anyone occupied a park near Wall Street, thousands of workers occupied the state capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin.

Just as in Cairo, however, the brave workers of Wisconsin have been misled, this time into backing electoral politics and the Democratic Party. In the midst of this struggle, the Party brought forward the idea that both the fascist Governor Scott Walker and the supposedly “heroic” Democrats were all defenders of capitalism — and were all therefore enemies of the working class. This communist idea attracted many workers in Wisconsin and around the world.

In September, the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement began in New York City before spreading to more than 1,500 cities worldwide. OWS captured the attention of workers who were tired of seeing banks get trillions of dollars in bailouts while education, transportation, health care, wages and jobs are slashed. One chant especially reflected this anger: “Banks got bailed out; We got sold out!” Throughout 2011, the Party participated in many of these occupations, picket lines, schools, churches and job sites, armed with leaflets and CHALLENGE.

PLP continues to strive to replace the dead-end reform tactics of the old communist movement with the fight for revolutionary communism for billions of workers in the world.

May Day

This past year was the 140th anniversary of the Paris Commune, the first time workers took control of the state. In this spirit, we celebrated May Day with marches, dinners and songs. From Colombia to El Salvador, in Los Angeles and New York, in Haiti and Palestine, we raised the red flag honoring our revolutionary ancestors. This year our May Day celebrations grew in size and better reflected the international character of the working class.

Turning Fascist Oppression into Communist Organizing

The working class continues to suffer from the racist exploitation and oppression that capitalism requires. In their increasingly desperate competition for dominance, the various national ruling classes outdo one another in making workers homeless, sick, maimed or killed in pursuit of profit. Frantic about “sovereign debt,” collapsing banks, currency disasters (notably the euro) and the industrial crisis of overproduction, the world’s bosses are peeling back their thin masks of “democracy” to reveal the bloody maw of a fascist monster. Meanwhile, the fight over Central Asian and Middle Eastern oil and natural gas appears to be careening toward broader military conflicts.

As we move into 2012, the battles against our capitalist enemies will continue to rage. The workers of the world will continue to fight back, in ways large and small. Everything we do as workers and communists counts: every march or picket line or discussion strengthened by  communist ideas, every time we help another worker and demonstrate how we can build a society without the parasitic bosses. By doing these things and more, the Party will help the working class move closer to ushering in a classless society that produces for need, not profit. Communist ideas are essential for this crucial advance. A mass, international, revolutionary party is necessary to lead the way. PL is that party. Now is the time to join!

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Obama’s Afghan War Crucial to U.S. Bosses’ Global Control

The fight between the U.S. imperialists and their Russian, Chinese and Iranian rivals — for control of the oil and gas fields of the Caspian Sea and Central Asia region and the pipeline routes to take these resources to market — is leading to wider Middle Eastern wars and eventually to an inevitable global confrontation. Controlling this region is crucial to the U.S. bosses’ efforts to regain absolute control of oil-rich Middle East, which have been the basis for their dominant imperialist position since the end of World War II.

Obama chose to concentrate on the Afghanistan war in hopes the U.S. backed TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline) could be built.  This pipeline, bypassing both Russia and Iran, could reverse Russian-Chinese advances in the energy-rich former Soviet republics, giving the U.S. control of this strategic region.

If successful, together with a new string of U.S. bases in the area, TAPI would put Russia and China on the defensive militarily, break Russia’s growing world energy monopoly, especially of the European Union’s energy market, and position the U.S. bosses to potentially starve China of the energy resources needed to fuel its economic and military rise.

It would also free the U.S. military machine to deal with Iran, if it hadn’t capitulated by then. Iraq could then be more easily pacified and U.S. imperialism’s dream of extending its hegemony well into the 21st century would be within reach.

As U.S. imperialists’ political, economic and military hegemony shrinks, their ability to control the outcome of world events becomes limited. An example is the recent Afghan presidential election, aimed at getting rid of Karzai, who has become an obstacle to their geopolitical goals in the area. He’s been cozying up to China and deepening his ties with the warlords of the Northern Alliance, backed by Russia, Iran and India.

Their electoral scheme failed. So far, with 99% of the votes counted, Karzai is the winner with 54% against the U.S candidate Abdullah Abdullah’s 28%. Plan B was to claim massive fraud and call for a run-off election rigged to guarantee Abdullah”s victory. But some among their ranks like Zbiegnew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to Jimmy Carter, disagree with this plan. They claim it would further destabilize Afghanistan and increase the “growing risk …that the Taliban …be viewed as a resistance movement against foreign occupation… and that would be a strategic defeat.”

The U.S. ruling class is clearly at odds over this. Some are making frantic efforts to force Karzai into a unity government with his rival Abdullah Abdullah (known in Afghanistan as “Obama’s wife”). Others see no option but to accept Karzai and to configure a government run by their ambassador Eikenberry and General McCrystal. Some call for the “Afghanization” of the war while others demand Obama’s unfailing commitment to his surge. Some, with Saudi Arabia and Britain, are working for a negotiated settlement with the “good Taliban.”

Besides, some of their European allies also disagree with the plan and are reluctant to send more troops. German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised the elections, while demanding, with leaders from Britain and France, an international conference to force the “Afghanization” of the war so “that the international engagement can be reduced.” Brzezinski agrees, arguing it might reduce “the growing risk of the war becoming a war of foreigners against Afghans,” and the Europeans allies “might be less likely to pull out entirely…. [Leaving] the U.S. alone in the lurch.”

Whatever tactics the U.S. butchers finally decide on, pipeline TAPI may never fly. It is detrimental to the ambitions of China, Russia and Iran. A U.S.-Taliban agreement will never bring peace to Afghanistan as the warlords of the Northern Alliance, the Taliban’s sworn mortal enemies, will fight desperately to survive.

Even if the U.S. imperialists carve out an independent “Pashtunistan” from Afghanistan-Pakistan, as some are planning, the war is likely to widen as the area’s instability helps China and Russia further consolidate their grip on the Caspian-Central Asia region. The Iranian nuclear issue  — nothing but a fig leaf to hide the vital role of Iran’s energy resources and strategic location in the fight for world domination — is rapidly forcing a showdown between the U.S., Russia, Iran and potentially Israel.

How many more millions must be murdered, maimed and displaced for the profits of the imperialists of the world? No election, peace agreement, U. N. resolution or slick-talking politician like Obama will ever put an end to this butchery. Workers, students and soldiers, getting angrier at the cutbacks and layoffs, need to see that the widening imperialist genocide, inherent in capitalist crisis, is costing $billions and murdering so many members of our class! Students need to unite with soldiers and workers who bear the heaviest burden for the capitalist war economy. Only an international communist-conscious working class under the leadership of PLP can put an end to this bosses’ inferno, with a communist revolution.

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Obama’s Afghan War Crucial to U.S. Bosses’ Global Control

The fight between the U.S. imperialists and their Russian, Chinese and Iranian rivals — for control of the oil and gas fields of the Caspian Sea and Central Asia region and the pipeline routes to take these resources to market — is leading to wider Middle Eastern wars and eventually to an inevitable global confrontation. Controlling this region is crucial to the U.S. bosses’ efforts to regain absolute control of oil-rich Middle East, which have been the basis for their dominant imperialist position since the end of World War II.

Obama chose to concentrate on the Afghanistan war in hopes the U.S. backed TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline) could be built.  This pipeline, bypassing both Russia and Iran, could reverse Russian-Chinese advances in the energy-rich former Soviet republics, giving the U.S. control of this strategic region.

If successful, together with a new string of U.S. bases in the area, TAPI would put Russia and China on the defensive militarily, break Russia’s growing world energy monopoly, especially of the European Union’s energy market, and position the U.S. bosses to potentially starve China of the energy resources needed to fuel its economic and military rise.

It would also free the U.S. military machine to deal with Iran, if it hadn’t capitulated by then. Iraq could then be more easily pacified and U.S. imperialism’s dream of extending its hegemony well into the 21st century would be within reach.

As U.S. imperialists’ political, economic and military hegemony shrinks, their ability to control the outcome of world events becomes limited. An example is the recent Afghan presidential election, aimed at getting rid of Karzai, who has become an obstacle to their geopolitical goals in the area. He’s been cozying up to China and deepening his ties with the warlords of the Northern Alliance, backed by Russia, Iran and India.

Their electoral scheme failed. So far, with 99% of the votes counted, Karzai is the winner with 54% against the U.S candidate Abdullah Abdullah’s 28%. Plan B was to claim massive fraud and call for a run-off election rigged to guarantee Abdullah”s victory. But some among their ranks like Zbiegnew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to Jimmy Carter, disagree with this plan. They claim it would further destabilize Afghanistan and increase the “growing risk …that the Taliban …be viewed as a resistance movement against foreign occupation… and that would be a strategic defeat.”

The U.S. ruling class is clearly at odds over this. Some are making frantic efforts to force Karzai into a unity government with his rival Abdullah Abdullah (known in Afghanistan as “Obama’s wife”). Others see no option but to accept Karzai and to configure a government run by their ambassador Eikenberry and General McCrystal. Some call for the “Afghanization” of the war while others demand Obama’s unfailing commitment to his surge. Some, with Saudi Arabia and Britain, are working for a negotiated settlement with the “good Taliban.”

Besides, some of their European allies also disagree with the plan and are reluctant to send more troops. German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised the elections, while demanding, with leaders from Britain and France, an international conference to force the “Afghanization” of the war so “that the international engagement can be reduced.” Brzezinski agrees, arguing it might reduce “the growing risk of the war becoming a war of foreigners against Afghans,” and the Europeans allies “might be less likely to pull out entirely…. [Leaving] the U.S. alone in the lurch.”

Whatever tactics the U.S. butchers finally decide on, pipeline TAPI may never fly. It is detrimental to the ambitions of China, Russia and Iran. A U.S.-Taliban agreement will never bring peace to Afghanistan as the warlords of the Northern Alliance, the Taliban’s sworn mortal enemies, will fight desperately to survive.

Even if the U.S. imperialists carve out an independent “Pashtunistan” from Afghanistan-Pakistan, as some are planning, the war is likely to widen as the area’s instability helps China and Russia further consolidate their grip on the Caspian-Central Asia region. The Iranian nuclear issue  — nothing but a fig leaf to hide the vital role of Iran’s energy resources and strategic location in the fight for world domination — is rapidly forcing a showdown between the U.S., Russia, Iran and potentially Israel.

How many more millions must be murdered, maimed and displaced for the profits of the imperialists of the world? No election, peace agreement, U. N. resolution or slick-talking politician like Obama will ever put an end to this butchery. Workers, students and soldiers, getting angrier at the cutbacks and layoffs, need to see that the widening imperialist genocide, inherent in capitalist crisis, is costing $billions and murdering so many members of our class! Students need to unite with soldiers and workers who bear the heaviest burden for the capitalist war economy. Only an international communist-conscious working class under the leadership of PLP can put an end to this bosses’ inferno, with a communist revolution.

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Obama Ups ‘Body Count’: Afghan Deaths,U.S. Jobless

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.

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Afghanistan Center of Imperialist Dogfight over Oil, Gas

The U.S. imperialists are desperately trying to regain full control of their empire’s cornerstone at any cost: possessing the world’s energy reserves, especially those of the Greater Middle East. Since their main focus now is the Caspian Region, Afghanistan is Obama’s main foreign policy objective.

How many more U.S.-NATO troops Obama will sacrifice in this war is not known yet, nor how many more Afghan workers, women and children will be massacred. But the stakes are high for the U.S. rulers, and they aren’t going to let the prospect of more blood on their hands stand in the way.

The stakes are also high for their capitalist-imperialist rivals in the region, particularly the Russians and Chinese bosses. Russia’s rise as an aspiring hegemon is dependent on controlling the world’s energy resources; while China needs ever-greater quantities of crude to fuel its industrial and military might. Their contradictions with the U.S. will develop into military clashes, with large-scale war looming on the horizon.
If pacified enough, the U.S. rulers hope Afghanistan’s strategic location will transport vast energy resources, bypassing Russia’s territory, and positioning them to replace Russia as the main controller-distributor of Caspian-Central Asia’s energy.

This would break the energy chokehold Russia has on the European imperialists, crucial if the U. S. hopes to get the EU’s support on important geopolitical issues, wider wars and the coming global war (See Box). A U.S. success in Afghanistan would also pressure China to become U.S.-energy dependent.

All Roads to Afghanistan Go Through Moscow, China and Iran

U.S. bosses’ military success in Afghanistan depends on supplying their troops, which has become ever more difficult. At present, three-quarters of supplies bound for Afghanistan must pass through Pakistan where “almost half of the US supplies …… [are] pilfered by motley groups of Taliban militants, petty traders and plain thieves…” (Asian Times on Line, 1/27/09)

With the Pakistani rulers less willing or capable of guaranteeing their supplies safe passage, the U.S. rulers must find alternative routes. But, the only possible routes, besides Iran and China, run through either the Caspian Region or Russia, all of which require Russian cooperation. Thus, the U.S. rulers’ big dilemma is how to get it and at what price. Nevertheless, whatever agreement these imperialist butchers reach will only intensify their contradictions and speed up their military confrontation.

Afghan President Karzai too Close to Russia and China

After seven years of racist U. S. terror and genocide against Afghani workers, a resurgent Taliban controls between 50% and 70% of the country and the U.S.-NATO forces are losing the war. To try to salvage the situation, Obama’s approach is to pacify Afghanistan enough to build the pipelines to safely transport energy resources to market. Thus the U.S. bosses are trying something that was unspeakable in the days after 9/11, the “inclusion of the Taliban or Taliban elements in a coalition government.” (George Friedman, Stratfor, 1/29/09)

This plan calls for dumping Karzai, who is refusing to go quietly. He is railing against Afghani civilians murdered by U.S. raids and moving closer to Russia and China. Against U.S. opposition, he recently accepted Russian military aid offerings. Also, in Moscow last January 23, Russian and Afghan diplomats “pledged to continue developing Russian-Afghan cooperation.” (Asia Times Online, 1/27/09)

Furthermore, Moscow will host a conference on Afghanistan under the aegis of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization, comprised of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan). Russian President Medvedev is adamant that “nothing can be resolved (regarding Afghanistan) without taking into account the collective opinion of states which have an interest in the resolution of the situation”.

Russian Imperialists Ready to Defend Their Backyard

Russia will soon approve a new national security strategy that identifies the United States as Russia’s primary rival. It singles out controlling global energy resources as the long-term source of conflict, which could develop into military confrontation. (Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 6 Issue: 2 January 6, 2009) To this end Russian just gave Kyrgyzstan $2.4 billion to kick the U.S. out of its Manas airbase, used to supply allies’ troops in Afghanistan.

Workers, soldiers and students worldwide must realize that capitalism inevitably leads to wider wars and eventually to World War 3.  We must break with all politicians and bosses, be it Obama, Putin, Karzai or the religious holy rollers. Let’s turn their imperialist wars into a revolutionary storm to wipe out capitalism and build a communist society where we share and allocate the world’s natural resources according to our needs, not the bosses’ profits.

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Afghanistan: Tables Turning on U.S. Aggressors

The “victory” claims of U.S. rulers when they invaded Afghanistan in 2001 have turned around. Not only is Osama bin Laden still at large, but the Taliban and its allies are now launching coordinated assaults on U.S. Army bases and an attack that killed ten elite French paratroopers. No wonder Obama and McCain are advocating troop increases in Afghanistan. At stake is a proposed oil pipeline running from Kazakhstan through Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Indian Ocean.

The seven-year occupation has devastated Afghans. Thousands of civilians have died from U.S./NATO air attacks, bombs, missiles and police fire, intensifying hatred of the imperialists. Poppy cultivation and corruption have soared. Poverty, homelessness, skyrocketing food prices, 75% illiteracy — this and worse is the lot of the average Afghan, the result of U.S. “liberation.” With over 80% of women affected by domestic violence, Afghanistan has become the most dangerous place in the world for women.
All this has become fertile ground for Taliban and al Qaeda recruitment.

In the face of this devastation, Afghans have protested. Hundreds demonstrated against rising food prices; at a teachers’ rally for wage hikes, students set 45 vehicles ablaze and attacked the cops. Angry street demonstrations protested the U.S.-puppet agreement to maintain permanent U.S. bases in Afghanistan.
All this is linked to the instability in bordering Pakistan, a Taliban base.

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