Tag Archives: Libya Air Strikes

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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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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War Over Oil Looms: Saudi Arabia, Not Libya, Main Prize for U.S. Rulers

As the U.S., France and British rulers launch air strikes at Libya, the U.S main focus is still focus on energy’s grand prize, Saudi Arabia and the greater Persian Gulf region. As important as Libya’s 46-billion-barrel reserves are, threats to far richer sources preoccupy Obama and the oil-fueled imperialists he serves.

As of March 11, dictator Qaddafi was brutally retaking key oil towns from the rebels, indiscriminately slaughtering civilians and his opponents. Leading senators — Democrat Kerry, Independent Lieberman, and Republican McCain — have called for a “no-fly zone” entailing U.S. bombardment of Libyan planes, air defenses, and runways. But, on that very day, March 11, Obama sent war boss Robert Gates to embattled Bahrain, on the Persian Gulf — not to Libya’s U.S.-backed neighbors Tunisia or Egypt.

Bahrain houses the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which polices the globally-crucial oil exports of U.S. protectorates Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, U.S.-occupied Iraq and U.S. enemy Iran.

Kenneth Pollack, a Gulf expert having worked at the CIA, the National Security Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Brookings Institution, wrote a book in 2002, “The Case for Invading Iraq.” Now he has written: “It is not clear that… Libya is enough of a national interest to justify…long-term military and diplomatic commitment. Just within the Middle East, there are countries of far greater importance to the United States that may well need us to invest those resources there to make sure they turn out right.” (Brookings website, 3/09/11)

Iraq, following two U.S. invasions and sanctions that killed over two million, has, for now, “turned out right” for Exxon Mobil. Consequently, the latter now enjoys access to Iraq’s West Qurna oil field, one of the world’s biggest.

U.S. Rulers, Exxon-Mobil, Won Big in Iraq War, But Could Lose All in Saudi Destabilization

Stratfor, an outfit that provides geostrategic analysis to U.S. corporations, explained Gates’s travel plans on its website (3/9): “Unlike Libya, where the effects are primarily internal, the events in Bahrain clearly involve Saudi, Iranian and U.S. interests….Bahrain is the focal point of a struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran for control of the western littoral [shoreline regions] of the Persian Gulf ….[Saudi] destabilization would change the regional balance of power and the way the world works.”

In other words, upheavals in Saudi Arabia — home to more oil than any other country in the world — could end the biggest racket in the history of imperialism. Exxon Mobil, Saudi Arabia’s biggest customer and investor, today controls the lion’s share of the kingdom’s production. Through Exxon and its U.S. and British allies — Chevron, BP and Shell — entire nations are beholden to U.S. rulers’ terms for the supply of capitalism’s lifeblood.

Obama, Pentagon Boss Gates Oppose Only Those Wars Not in the Rulers’ ‘National Interest’

Obama’s “Defense” Secretary Gates opposes a “no-fly zone” in Libya only because it detracts from his imperialist masters’ larger need to secure the Middle East. Note his February 25 warning to West Point that any future war secretary advising a U.S. president to send a large land army into Asia, the Middle East or Africa, “should have his head examined.” Colonel Gian Gentile, an active-duty military fellow at the ultra-imperialist, Rockefeller-led Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), translated:

“The secretary is suggesting that, if a future secretary of defense advises an American president to send a significant land force into a foreign country to do nation building, the analysis has to show that that kind of effort… is worth the costs…. because it will be a costly and long-term endeavor.” (CFR website, 3/2/11)  Gates, hardly a pacifist, rewords Gen. Colin Powell’s “Doctrine” which clearly specified that indispensable, imperialist goals (like securing Saudi Arabia) require overwhelming U.S. military force.

The workers and youth rebelling against fascist dictators in North Africa and the Mideast have put their lives on the line in battling the police and the armies. They have struck in demanding jobs and freedom from poverty. They deserve the support of workers worldwide.

But for the working class, two deadly misunderstandings are woven into this upsurge. First is thinking that it represents “liberation.” Without militant, class-based, communist revolution, one gang of exploiters will replace another in every country involved. Secondly is the assumption that any temporary reluctance of U.S. rulers to deploy deadly force shows “peaceful” intentions. In reality, U.S. imperialism’s continuing existence depends on control of Mideast oil. Obama & Co. and their successors will fight for it to their last bullet and to the last drop of workers’ blood.

It is up to the working class, and especially to communists, to mobilize our forces wherever we are — in shops, unions, schools, within the military, in churches and community organizations — to turn the class struggle against the ruling capitalists into a fight that goes beyond the immediate one for reforms. The rulers hold state power and always can, and do, take back these reforms. Their goal of maximum profits — and their system’s inevitable crises which produce mass unemployment, racist exploitation and imperialist war — drives them to demand these give-backs from the working class.

Only a communist revolution that smashes the bosses’ state power and their racist system altogether, creating a society run by and for our class — which produces all value — can free us from the misery of the profit system.

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