Tag Archives: Iraq war

Capitalism’s Stage of Post-Neo-Imperialism Brings Death to Our Class

Imperialism takes several forms. Each form, like fascism, is particular to capitalism and flows as a process from one step to another. Dialectical Materialism always stresses that though contradiction and change exist in all things, change is uneven, advances, retreats, and the object can shift forms relative to the situation. The basic aspect of Imperialism is capital looking for a new area to valorize itself, and this area is either thoroughly undeveloped or already partitioned off by a set of bosses. The world today is completely divided up between two concretizing imperialist blocs, and there are several countries that are trying to sit on the fence and play one imperialist off against another.

The imperialist blocs are the US led bloc versus the Russia and China bloc. With basic, also known as “Classic”, Imperialism , the imperialist country sends in troops and dominates the sphere of influence that they have carved out. The US attempted to do this in Iraq in the early 2000’s. They failed. Iran was the victor of that war. A second stage of Imperialism is Neo-Imperialism . Neo-Imperialism is the use of direct and direct economic means to dominate and control either a client state, subordinate state, or a sphere of influence, Saudi Arabia, the former status of Yemen, and Western Ukraine, for example. Now, in the heart of, according to Obama, the success story in the war on terrorism, we are seeing a new stage fully birthed, Post-Neo-Imperialism .

Post-Neo-Imperialism is the stage of Imperialism where the imperialists just say, “fuck it” and blow up the whole thing. It’s the equivalent to kicking the table over as the game of chess is a loss. Post-Neo-Imperialism functions as a rational irrationality, count on capitalism to use a chaotic contradiction as a reinforcement of order, due to the fact that the imperialist then portrays themselves as in bringing order. This is a reflection of the game that the US has been playing with their Humanitarian Imperialism. Their Humanitarian Imperialism is now going to be fueling their Post-Neo-Imperialistic de facto support of the bombing, death, and destruction that is going to be ravaging the water starved working class in Yemen.

The US is already going about arming its terrorist hordes as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) took over a city in Yemen, raided it for military vehicles, arms, cash, and freed their commander and hundreds of others from the local prison. The Security forces conveniently retreat, not even firing a shot, the terrorists take all the cash, guns, and weapons they want, and then hand wringing is done as the bosses say, “’tis a shame; what could we do?”. This pattern of the terrorists raiding US bases to arm themselves or being armed by US client states parallels what happened in Iraq, as the Islamic State was able to get massive weapons, and is now causing untold destruction all over the geostrategically important oil rich Middle East.

What Yemen has also shown the world in a shocking way is how China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) was able to get in to Aden and out for two rescue operations. The PLAN was able to surprise the world with their capability. This is a show of force that reverberates back to the artificial reefs they are building in the South China see on and around the contested atolls and islands in the South China sea that they are claiming as their own territory. Challenge has reported many times what it means to the US if they have the capability of a blue water navy capable of projecting force, a strategic loss in terms of military domination.

The Deal With Iran

With the US now reacting in the Middle East, the new deal with Iran is another aspect of how the bosses maintain their empire. When the bosses can not outright destroy their enemy, they then move on to “let’s make a deal”. The joint statement specified several key points:

Natanz will be the only facility allowed to carry out uranium enrichment, and the deeply buried Fordow enrichment site will be converted into a nuclear research facility.
Iran would be allowed to continue enrichment in limited amounts, with all spent fuel shipped out of the country.
The Arak heavy water reactor that is still under construction will be redesigned so that no plutonium is produced at this site.
All three of these sites would come under heavy inspection.
Notably, there was no mention of the Parchin military facility, where Iran has been suspected of engaging in nuclear weapons research. Iran has publicly insisted that it would not subject its military facilities to inspection, though it is unclear what has been conceded to assuage concerns about the activity at this facility.
The cessation of sanctions and rapprochement with Iran can be seen as a way of peeling off Iran from the Russia China bloc. Since, the lifting of U.S. sanctions will have to entail the president relying on his executive power to suspend sanctions through his waiver authority for consecutive 120-day periods. There is no limit to how many times he extends the waiver period. So, basically every 4 months The Executive Branch will erode The Legislative branch in the US’s inexorable move to the centralization of state needed to institute the disciplining of the ruling class that fascism’s tight ship requires. The main Imperialist wing of the US ruling class can no longer trust its own ruling class to support the wars that preserve the primacy of its empire.

Arguably, the greatest defeat the Chinese Communist Party was dealt was when the ruling class in China, faced with their doom at the hands of a Communist led working class coming for them, said let’s make a deal and joined the Party. They got a star on the flag, a seat at the table, the preservation of their wealth and entitlement, and, worst of all, began the rapid devolution of the Chinese Communist Revolution.

The US ruling class is pissing off their thugs in Israel and Saudi Arabia as they get ready to loosen the economic shackles on Iran in the hopes of wetting their beaks on the lucrative pipeline deals that hundreds of thousands of workers have been slaughtered in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere over. We have yet to see how this contradiction will resolve, but right now, the US is taking it for granted that racist fascist Netanyahu will not rain death. Time will tell.

Either way, the bosses are planning on bringing death, ironically around the Easter holiday that celebrates death. Well, the working class will be the one to rise as The Progressive Labor Party continues to grow and organize around the world. Durruti was wrong when he poetically said that we “carry a new world in our hearts”, because we don’t. Our heart is a figment of imagination. It pumps blood. We don’t carry anything in our hearts. We carry a new world in our hands. It was, as Engels poetically said, our hands that made our minds. It was our hands that made this world. The hands of the working class build everything on this planet, and we will rebuild. Workers have built this world once, and as the bosses try to tear it down and bring death, chaos, terror, false promises in the guise of religion, racism, nationalism, sexism, and the horror of the daily struggle to put food and clean water in our bodies, we have the hope that we can make a better world with our hands. We can work together under a Communist economic system where our hands collectively rebuild from the ashes. This Easter, as the bosses both celebrate and rain death on us workers all over the world, know that the real rebirth will be our class, with our hands, using our minds to make a world that will meet all of our needs. That is the vision of The PLP.

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U.S. Oil War Sends Vets Back Jobless, Homeless, Suicidal and Dead

Politicians in both parties are constantly waving the flag over the dead and wounded bodies of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, boasting about the “outstanding job” they’re doing, after having been put “in harm’s way” by the ruling class’s vicious imperialist war for control of Mid-East oil.

These vets are workers, so the “harm’s way” doesn’t stop when they return — IF they return — to be attacked by a capitalist class which forces workers to pay even more for their economic meltdown and wars.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ, 3/25) and the Boston Globe report surging joblessness, low wages, inadequate and denial of medical treatment and huge homelessness.

The military paper “Stars and Stripes” cited a U.S. Veterans Affairs Dept. study reporting 18% of veterans being jobless.

One quarter of all vets are earning less than $21,840 per year.

The WSJ wrote, “The [above] report found that most of the returning veterans were unable to find civilian jobs that matched their previous military occupations.” So much for the recruiters’ promises of joining the army and “learning a skill.”

The Military.com website released a survey showing 81% of discharged vets did not “feel fully prepared… [to] enter the job market.” According to Black Veterans for Social Justice, “Typically…young adults who go into the military at 17 or 18, when they return home, the same kind of economic conditions that forced them [to enlist] …still exist or have gotten worse.” (OneWorld News service, Nov. 2007) And that’s what the still-to-be-passed DREAM Act (supported by the liberals and the Pentagon) has in store for immigrant youth who join the military if they come home alive — an economy of rising unemployment, sinking wages and racism on all fronts especially affecting black, Latino and immigrant youth. Talk about “harm’s way”!

To make job matters worse, the percentage of amputees is the highest since the U.S. Civil War. Up to 36% of the 1.5 million veterans of the current wars are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder — an astounding half a million patients! Outstanding claims by vets rose from 254,000 to 378,000 between 2003 and 2006. Average waiting time for treatment is 183 days.

Is it any wonder that 1,784 returning vets committed suicide in 2005 alone?
Finally, “194,254… [are] homeless…on any given night.” (Boston Globe, quoting The Alliance to End Homelessness)

These are the fruits of imperialist war. The bosses send youth off to oil-rich lands to kill other youth, and workers — over a million in Iraq — only to send 4,000 back (plus 500 from the Afghan war) in body bags and tens of thousands suffering amputated arms and legs, brains shattered by explosions and post-traumatic stress, racist police terror,  jobless or earning poverty wages and living on the streets.

However, working-class youth will continue to join the military, and eventually millions will be forced into the armed forces when the rulers bring back some form of the draft to wage their wider wars against their imperialist rivals
So organizing for revolution among soldiers and vets, not voting for these bosses’ hypocritical, disgusting politicians, is the road to follow.

U.S. WAR CASUALTIES: 655,000 AND RISING

An April 17 RAND Corporation study as detailed in “CounterPunch Diary” (5/2) by Alexander Cockburn, reports that, “The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have thus far produced 300,000 psychological casualties, 320,000 brain injury casualties, plus 35,000 (probably understated) officially reported ‘normal’ casualties. This adds up to 655,000 US casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, and average of just under 101,000 Americans killed or wounded every year since the wars began.” This excludes the million Iraqi; dead from U.S. imperialism’s invasion. Talk about blood for oil!

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Ex-Marine Links U.S. Racism, Katrina and Iraq War

BOSTON, April 14 — Students, faculty and staff at Roxbury Community College (RCC), a mainly black and immigrant working-class school here, showed considerable interest in an anti-war event marking the 5th anniversary of the Iraq war. It highlighted the recent Winter Soldier testimony that publicized veterans’ criticisms of the war. (See CHALLENGE 3/12)
Thirty-five in attendance heard the stirring remarks of two veterans and a speech explaining that U.S. rulers went to war to control Mid-East oil. One ex-Marine said Hurricane Katrina exposed the true nature of U.S. imperialism, which allowed mostly black workers to die in New Orleans while it was killing working people in Iraq. As a black man of Haitian descent, he declared that the racism of Katrina punctured his belief in U.S. patriotism and his willingness to “serve my country.”

We watched some of the recorded testimony of other veterans who described the atrocities the U.S. committed in Iraq. It was inspiring to see how Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) is helping to transform soldiers — damaged by their experiences — into anti-war organizers. However, although IVAW is introducing veterans to anti-war politics, the organization is also injecting patriotic content into those politics, undermining an understanding of imperialism, the real cause of the Middle-East wars. This builds a movement which the capitalist class can easily manipulate as they plan wider war to protect their strategic interests in the region.

Because PLP understands the crucial role of soldiers and students in the growth of a revolutionary communist movement, we played a pivotal role in this function. Some students who had attended our May Day dinner a week earlier helped to organize the event, distributing leaflets on campus.

The speech that presented a class analysis about the war helped people make more sense of the veterans’ testimony by putting their personal tragedies into a political context. Soldiers are being forced to kill and maim Iraqis in a genocidal war so that U.S. capitalism can maintain its control over oil.

This analysis inspired one veteran to expound on his previous talk. “It’s RCC students and Bunker Hill Community College students who are fighting this war,’ he said, “not students from Harvard and Milton Academy.” Then, he called for students and soldiers to “revolutionize” themselves as a necessary step in fighting back.

By understanding the class character of the war, working-class students can see the many ways imperialism is attacking them and their loved ones, and their role in organizing resistance. This event made it clear that PLP needs to sell CHALLENGE more consistently and expose students to a communist analysis about both world events and their own reality at RCC.

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Students, Workers and Soldiers Must Unite to:Smash Imperialist War for Oil!

With 4,000 (and counting) American deaths, over 40,000 wounded, and at least 600,000 Iraqis killed, the Iraq war has increased the suffering of workers and youth in both countries, especially in Iraq. After five years of U.S. occupation, opposition to the U.S. war in Iraq is found throughout the country at schools, on the job, and in the military. Most of the U.S. population wants the U.S. military to withdraw its troops from Iraq.

Despite all the Democratic blather about a total U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, Clinton, Obama and the U.S. congress are clearly not going to oppose the basic interests of the U.S. ruling class. Those interests require that congressional members (both Democrats and Republicans) buy time while ruling class strategists prepare to extend the current war across the entire Gulf region. This new war will require a massive military build-up, including a re-institution of the draft. It will also require that the U.S. military, sooner rather than later, take on Iran, the leading power in the region. The reason that the U.S. ruling class must strengthen its control over Iraq and the Gulf region is oil.

Oil and Imperialism. Oil is the basis of modern industry. It is critical for the operation of factories and for transportation systems, and is the lifeblood of the economy and military of every capitalist nation. The U.S. ruling class is waging its wars in the Gulf region for two reasons:

    Economic crisis in the U.S. Since the 1970s, the U.S. capitalist class has been losing market share to its imperialist rivals: Europe, Japan, Russia and China. As world competition has pushed down their profits, the U.S. bosses have been forced to resort to layoffs and cutbacks, and to move factories and service operations overseas in a desperate search for cheap labor and resources.

    Monopolizing oil. Why does the U.S. have two aircraft carrier groups in the Persian Gulf, when only 22% of U.S. oil is imported from that region? Because in order to control its rivals, the U.S. ruling class needs to monopolize the strategic power of oil, which means controlling its supply, transportation, and pricing.

In order to protect the U.S. superpower status and empire against challenges from imperialist rivals, particularly China and Russia, the U.S. ruling class needs to dominate the Middle East and Central Asia (and their oil) politically and militarily. The current Iraqi insurrection and civil war has prevented any political solution acceptable to the U.S. bosses from developing—so war in Iraq is the only option. The U.S. bosses are pushing patriotism and anti-Arab racism to get us to support their imperialist oil wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the real enemy is not workers from other nations but capitalists of all nations.

How Do We Stop Imperialist wars? Our battle cry should not be the liberals’ “Out Now!” but “Smash Imperialism!” As we learned in the anti-Vietnam war movement, the working class, not the lying politicians, is the key force in any fight against the capitalist class. Workers are the ones who work in the factories where the weapons are made. Workers and students are the ones who serve in the military. Workers and students led the anti-Vietnam war struggle, and these are the forces that will organize the strikes, shut down the troop trains, occupy the campuses and fill the streets in the coming anti-war struggle. We must begin to organize this struggle now. Here’s an agenda we can begin with:

  • Drive all military recruiters off the campuses.
  • Support draftees and soldiers who refuse to fight in the bosses’ wars.
  • Fight anti-black, anti-Arab, and anti-immigrant racism.
  • Organize in our unions to strike against the war. Build for a general strike.

Capitalism = Death. Capitalism generates racism, poverty and imperialist war. A system that can murder workers by the millions in Iraq and Afghanistan but cannot feed the hungry, shelter the homeless or provide decent jobs for all does not deserve to exist. The only long range answer is to build an international communist movement of workers, students and soldiers to defeat capitalism with communist revolution.

    Smash Capitalism and Imperialist War with Communist Revolution!

Progressive Labor Party is a revolutionary communist party dedicated to eliminating capitalism with communist revolution as the only way to end imperialism, terrorism, racism, sexism and class inequality.

For more information, see www.plp.org.

March on May Day, International Workers’ Day

May 3, 2008 in Brooklyn, New York

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CAPITALISM KILLS: 72,000 GI CASUALTIES; MILLION IRAQI DEATHS

The GI casualty figure is the latest lie uncovered about the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pentagon reports the number of wounded somewhere in the teens (including nearly 4,000 dead in Iraq). But Veterans for Common Sense (VCS) says the Defense Department only releases one category of battlefield casualty, those “wounded in action” by a bullet, shrapnel or knife.

“A GI who cracks his head on the windshield of his Humvee in a crash, though he may have suffered brain damage and had to be evacuated…is considered ‘injured,’ not ‘wounded,’” says VCS head Paul Sullivan, a Gulf War I vet. Government figures released to the media don’t include such casualties. Sullivan’s Freedom of Information Act request revealed that through January 5, 2008, U.S. battlefield casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan totaled 72,000.

A GI suffering a heart attack or severe emotional collapse is considered “ill,” not “wounded,” never entering the official casualty count.

Sullivan, a former Veterans Administration (VA) project manager, blew the whistle on inadequate vets’ health care long before the Washington Post “broke” the story. The VCS reports that “VA hospitals and clinics have already treated 263,909 ‘unplanned’ patients” and 245,034 “unanticipated” disability claims from veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Sullivan expects an eventual 700,000 patient claims.

Meanwhile, a leading British polling group, the Opinion Research Business, recently reported 1.03 million Iraqi deaths. (Reuters, 1/30/08) That figure omits three of Iraq’s 18 provinces, two of which are among the country’s most volatile, Kerbala and Anbar. But U.S. rulers completely ignore Iraqi deaths.

Such is the destruction of human lives wrought by U.S. imperialism in its drive to control oil supplies and other resources and maintain profits, battling its capitalist rivals.

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Turkish Rulers’ Challenge to U.S. Leading to Wider War

The New York Times and its chief foreign correspondent Thomas Friedman are worried that the Democrats are helping the Bushites squeeze Iraq out of the 2008 Presidential election debate. Says Friedman (NYT, 10/24), “All the leading Democratic contenders have signaled that they will not precipitously withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq, but the air has gone out of the Iraq debate.” A Times editorial (10/20) complained that, “It was bad enough having a one-party government when the Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. But the Democrats took over, and still the one-party system continues.” These liberal rulers are very concerned about the Bushites’ mishandling of this war.

But Iraq isn’t going away. Witness the escalating crisis between the Turkish army and the PKK guerrillas (Workers’ Party of Kurdistan). A hypocritical U.S. Congressional resolution about Turkish genocide against Armenians during World War I helped worsen the crisis. Turkey’s rulers are threatening a military assault on PKK bases inside Iraq (authorized by Turkey’s Parliament). The Turkish army has massed 100,000 troops at its border with Iraq to attack PKK bases in Iraq’s northern mountains.

The Bush administration is trying to forestall a Turkish invasion. After all, northern Iraq is controlled by Kurdish forces which have sided with U.S. imperialism in the Iraq war. Relatively it’s the most stable area in Iraq. It also contains some of the largest oil deposits near the city of Kirkuk, which the Kurdish nationalists have given Bush’s pal Hunt Oil rights to develop (see CHALLENGE, 10/31, on Hunt’s competition with the Eastern Establishment’s big oil outfits like Exxon-Mobil). Turkish rulers want to control that oil, opposing its control by Kurdish nationalists.

The Iraq war has sharpened all the contradictions in Eurasia. Since World War II, Turkish bosses have been loyal allies of U.S. imperialism, particularly during the Cold War against the old Soviet Union. But times have changed. Turkish rulers now want a bigger piece of the pie. An article by George Friedman, head of Stratfor Intelligence Report, entitled “Turkey as a Regional Power” (10/23) says:

“Cautious in World War II and strictly aligned with the United States during the Cold War, Turkey played a passive role: It either sat things out or allowed its strategic territory to be used….The situation has changed dramatically.

“In 2006, Turkey had the 18th largest economy in the world — larger than that of any other Muslim country, including Saudi Arabia — and the economy has been growing…between 5 percent and 7 percent a year for five years.…It has a substantial and competent military…. It also is surrounded by chaos.

“Apart from Iraq to the south, there is profound instability in the Caucasus to the north and the Balkans to the northwest.…Turkey has a vested interest in stabilizing the region. It no longer regards the United States as a stabilizing force…. It views the Russians as a long-term threat to its interests and sees Russia’s potential return to Turkey’s frontier as a long-term challenge.” Several of the old Soviet republics now sit as a buffer between Russia and Turkey but the Turks see the Russians flexing their oil-powered muscles to possibly threaten Turkey over the long run. Historically Russian and Turkish rulers have always fought over control of the oil in the Caucuses and Caspian Sea region.

Meanwhile, the U.S., while saying it opposes terrorism, actually supports a Kurdish guerrilla group in Iran which is aligned with the PKK and shares its same mountain bases in northern Iraq. So the U.S. is playing a dangerous game, simultaneously trying to placate the Turkish ruling class and the U.S.’s Kurdish allies ruling northern Iraq. Some in the Bush administration haven’t forgiven Turkish bosses for barring a U.S. invasion of Iraq from Turkey in 2003. But huge amounts of supplies used by the U.S. invaders in Iraq now come through Turkey, including a U.S. air base in southern Turkey. And Turkish troops are helping NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Kurdish nationalists are preparing for another sellout of their aspirations for a separate state composed of Kurds in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. In the past, the Kurdish nationalists have become pawns of Iran’s Shah, Saddam Hussein and other regional despots. The PKK, which claims to be “Marxist,” is no different. It’s basically a nationalist group aligning itself with U.S. imperialism and the pro-U.S. Kurdish rulers of northern Iraq. Its sister guerrilla group in Iran is becoming a U.S.-Israeli bosses’ weapon for a war against the mullahs there.

However, many Kurdish workers and youth have often supported what they view as Marxist groups looking for a revolutionary answer to the national oppression Kurds have suffered at the hands of the Turkish, Iraqi, Iranian, Syrian and imperialist bosses. These workers and youth must unite with their brothers and sisters region-wide to build a red-led movement fighting for the only solution to this imperialist hell: communism.

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