Tag Archives: War

The Bosses Bring War to Space

It is not enough that the bosses constantly threaten, murder, divide, butcher, and exploit their wealth from the working class. No, now they are beginning to fully militarize both space and the Arctic. Stratfor recently published an article where they discussed the strategic value that “space represents the ultimate high ground” just as “control of the skies added a new dimension to combat”.

During the Cold War when the space race was just getting underway, the technology to fully exploit the weapons capability of space did not exist yet. Therefore, the bosses had no problem signing treaties to keep from fully militarizing space. Now, with the US at the top of the heap and no powerful international communist movement to stop them, a weaponization of space is underway.

The ability to shoot satellites out of space has been demonstrated on several occasions by the Chinese bosses and this has alarmed The US bosses. Space represents a major weakness of the US military since any military assets in space are vulnerable and very difficult if impossible to defend.

As much as the United States leads the field, however, it is increasingly reliant on its space-based systems — of which a significant percentage are highly vulnerable and largely indefensible. This vulnerability has not escaped the notice of the United States’ biggest competitors. By finding a way to disable space-based systems, a potential antagonist could disconnect the multiple interlocking U.S. military systems, plunging it into information darkness and delivering a critical blow ahead of any physical strike — and to do so would not violate any existing space treaty.

Since the US heavily relies on technology to make up the bulk of its military advantage and intelligence assets, it stands to reason that the US is developing capabilities to also shoot down and destroy satellites. Each satellite that is destroyed will create debris in space that would be a hindrance to any future development of space.

Illustrating that the bosses are not comfortable with solely destroying this planet, Stratfor continues to forecast that there will be an increase in competition over the Arctic and eventually the resources in the Solar System. The Arctic has at least two Russian military bases on it now. This militarization of the Arctic is a danger to all of humanity since the melting of the ice can trigger global catastrophe by initiating an ice age. There are also seedbeds within the Arctic that harbor non-bioengineered seeds that we may need at a later date since capitalist’s corporations like Monsanto are constantly manipulating crops. A last reason for the danger of militarizing the Arctic is the fact that it is freshwater ice that could potentially be contaminated.

The idea of the imperialist wars that are now developing on our planet creeping into space should be both nauseating and disturbing, but not terrifying. The bosses can be stopped with Communist Revolution. Though space represents the next step in human evolution and development, after we develop a scientific based society on the principles of “from each according to commitment and to each according to need”, we will have to not only rebuild this planet from the destruction of imperialist war, but we’ll have to also clean up the bosses’ mess in space.

Science will develop unhindered as the understanding of necessity becomes the hallmark of humanity. Only a Communist society based on meeting the needs of all by all can create the economy that will drive humanity to enter space in a non-parasitical manner that won’t create war. The Progressive Labor Party is building that Communist world each and every day in over 20 countries on multiple continents. A world that will not have war, abolish racism, all borders, all nations, and sexism. The capitalists, on the other hand, are building war war and more war in every corner of this world in order to protect their resources and maintain the enslavement of the working class. Capitalism gives us a new reason each day to smash it with Communist revolution.

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Eric Garner was murdered by the racist NYPD last Thursday. Choked to death by killer cop Daniel Pantaleo. Already, despite the assertions of Mayor DeBlasio that he was deeply disturbed by the video of the racist attack on an unarmed Black man, DeBlasio’s medical examiner(ME) is already leaking info to the NY Post trying to take the heat off the cops.

Any honest person who sees the video knows that Eric Garner’s murder was another continuation of the long line of people killed by the police for being Black or Latin.

When DeBlasio ran for Mayor he tried to get working class people out to vote for him by saying he was going to do something about there being two New Yorks, one for the rich and one for the poor. Well we see what he’s doing: first he hired Bill Bratton as Police Commissioner, the same Bill Bratton whose “Broken Windows” plan was nothing more than increasing police harassment and arrests of people in working class neighborhoods for any excuse possible.

Now DeBlasio’s ME office is trying to figure out how to get these racist murderers from the 120th Precinct off the hook. As if a man dying while being brutally strangled is anything but murder.

Pantaleo and the other racists from the 120th came out there looking to hurt someone. They were called because of a fight on the street, and when they didn’t get to hurt those guys, they went after Eric who had done the right thing by trying to break up the fight.

Yes, Pantaleo and the other cops who jumped on and then stood around while Eric garner died must be indicted and convicted of murder. However, if this was just an isolated incident, you could say that would be enough, but we all know it’s not. This is the NYPD doing their job.

DeBlasio and the ME and the Staten Island DA are all hesitant to go after the cops because they know the cops were doing what they’ve been conditioned to do, attack and terrorize Black and Latino workers in this city. That is a big part of how the wealthy, the capitalists that run New York, and this whole country stay in power and they are who these cops serve and protect.

Pantaleo must be brought to justice, but we will never be free of this racist police terror until we are free of the capitalist system. Freedom from police terror will only come from the working class taking power from the capitalists with communist revolution.

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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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N. Africa to Mideast to Asia:Capitalism’s Survival Undercuts Workers’ Revolt; Wider Wars Loom

Tens of thousands of workers and youth are waging a political battle to overthrow U.S.-backed corrupt fascist dictators, cutting a wide swath throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Many have taken up arms and risked their lives fighting brutal attacks by the rulers’ cops and armies, whose tanks, guns and tear gas are marked “Made in USA.”

The rebels are also going on strike against the ravages of capitalism — skyrocketing food prices and massive unemployment — demanding jobs.

Unfortunately these courageous workers and youth will wind up with the same capitalist system that has produced this mass poverty and fascist conditions. What leadership that does exist is not fighting for workers’ power — communism — which would destroy the profit system and its ruling bosses. This only highlights the necessity to build the Progressive Labor Party to develop the kind of leadership that would make a fundamental change, a real revolution that would toss out the old ruling class and put the working class in power.

However, the U.S. may very well be playing both sides. While the rebellions oppose dictators backed by the U.S., their replacements might be U.S.-backed also. Some student rebels have been trained by CIA front groups on a 2008 organizing conference at Columbia University in NYC) as well as a union movement trained by the AFL-CIA.

Significantly these struggles are raging in and near the heart of U.S. rulers’ energy-based global empire, raising big questions: Will pro- or anti-U.S. bosses gain long-term advantage from the conflicts? And now that many Arab lands are, or could be, under shaky new management, how can Exxon Mobil and its Big Oil buddies hang on to critical oil fields and shipping routes?

Iran’s ayatollahs made their opportunistic aims clear by sending a pair of warships through embroiled Egypt’s Suez Canal into the Mediterranean, long controlled by the U.S. Sixth Fleet. Meanwhile, Obama & Co.’s response involves expanding the scope of liberal President Jimmy Carter oil “Doctrine”:

“An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force. (Carter’s 1980 State of the Union Address)

Today’s revolts could spread to Carter’s obvious focus, Saudi Arabia, U.S. imperialism’s most vital energy interest. So Obama’s actual and possible combat theater protecting U.S. bosses’ “vital interests” now stretches from the mountains of Pakistan across the Gulf to the North African coast. And now the U.S. military has admitted its Afghan strategy is failing, and is withdrawing from strategic areas in that country. (NY Times, 2/25)

Liberal Bosses Want 20,000 Troops for Libyan Bloodbath

Libya, where dictator Qaddafi’s thugs have killed hundreds, and Exxon and U.S. ally BP have had to suspend drilling for crude oil, is especially worrisome to U.S. rulers. The NY Times summed up these risks: “The worst-case scenario, should the rebellion topple him,…is…a failed state where Al Qaeda or other radical groups could exploit the chaos and operate with impunity.” (2/27)

Michael O’Hanlon, military expert at the liberal Brookings Institution, urged the Pentagon to prepare a ground force, contrasting Libya with U.S. inaction in the 1994 crisis in Rwanda: “It would have taken closer to 20,000 troops, or more, to do the job right. There could well be a similar requirement here.” (Brookings website, 2/25) Obama booster O’Hanlon even provides the outlines of a body count: “We could lose one of our soldiers or Marines for every 10 enemy fighters we had to take down. If Qadhafi loyalists numbered in the thousands…we could lose hundreds of U.S. troops.” O’Hanlon would no doubt recommend the same treatment for al Qaeda sympathizers in Libya.

But Saudi Arabia, as the world’s greatest petroleum source and ExxonMobil’s biggest supplier, poses far graver concerns for U.S. bosses — so grave, in fact, that they resort to code to speak about it publicly. Michael Levi, a fellow at the influential Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), funded by Rockefeller, Exxon and J.P. Morgan Chase, wrote: “If unrest actually migrated to the desert kingdom…Riyadh [Saudi’s capital] would probably impress on the world that it needed support if they didn’t want to see prices get out of control. That would be a credible threat, and could result in a very concrete set of responses”(CFR website, 2/25/11).

“Concrete response” means “invasion.” Two main groups seek to benefit from Saudi regime change: swelling ranks of unemployed youth and those capitalists not part of Saudi’s royal family, shut out of the fabulously lucrative oil racket. Osama bin Laden, a member of the latter, has united elements of both into the anti-U.S. al Qaeda.

Interestingly, Saudi’s ruling king, fearing an uprising, and to calm oil interests, just allotted $36 billion for reforms in his kingdom. But rather than “calming” the situation, those oil interests see his concerns as evidence of a further threat to the region and can very well provoke even more oil price hikes.

Top U.S. Warlord Visits Big Oil States and U.S. Bases

To hammer home the U.S. invasion vow, Admiral Mike Mullen, the U.S.’s top military chief, recently visited Kuwait on the pretense of commemorating the 20th anniversary of Desert Storm. In 1991, a U.S.-led coalition of 750,000 soldiers ousted Iraqi invaders from Kuwait. But the display of U.S. and allied firepower demonstrates Obama’s promise of a repeat performance to defend Saudi Arabia.

Covering the February 26 celebration, Stars and Stripes, the U.S. brass’s mouthpiece for GIs gushed:

“Tanks, troops, armored vehicles, helicopters and barrel-rolling [combat maneuver to elude adversaries] fighter jets…passed in formation before Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and other dignitaries including Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 1991, and Spain’s King Juan Carlos. It was a spectacle rarely seen in the world today. Saudi, Kuwaiti, French, British, and other troops joined the relatively small contingent of roughly 175 Americans thundering down the road.”

Saudi Arabia’s participation indicated its coming turn for potential U.S. invasion.

Powell’s presence signaled the future use of his “overwhelming force Doctrine.”  The Spanish, French and British showing demonstrates that Obama, more like the Bush, Sr. than Bush, Jr., understands the U.S. need for broad military coalitions.

Mullen landed in Kuwait after a five-day Gulf tour of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Djibouti and Bahrain. These seven states either produce vast amounts of oil or house major U.S. military bases that defend the U.S. strategic stranglehold on its distribution. A Mullen spokesman reassured Saudi king Abdullah that Obama intends to keep him on his throne:  “The aim of the 1991 Gulf War was not to democratize Kuwait.” (Agencie French Press, 2/25)

But where would U.S. rulers find the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of troops needed for a Saudi invasion that would probably draw in Iran? Restoring the draft in present circumstances remains unthinkable. Gary Hart, a leading imperialist strategist, thinks the solution for U.S. imperialists lies in tying the liberal side of the fight over workers’ rights now centered in Wisconsin to a patriotic movement that would back U.S. rulers’ war plans.

Hart was co-chairman of Clinton’s 1999 Hart-Rudman Commission that drew up blueprints for a centralized U.S. police state, while both fearing and welcoming a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Hart figures this could galvanize mass U.S. support for a Saudi invasion, just as it did for the eventual invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the latter war now the longest in U.S. history. (See box)

Opportunities to Build the PLP

The uprisings and U.S. rulers’ reactions to them offer many valuable political lessons, about which we will write in coming issues. But for now we point to the first and foremost: Don’t trust the liberal bosses.

Meanwhile, PLP members and friends must back solidarity with — participate in — any rising working-class struggles, to be in position to guide them towards the goal of workers’ power and away from the liberals’ dead-end war aims. Recent anti-government working-class resistance to ruling-class attacks, both in the U.S. and abroad, show that politics are increasingly motivating workers. This can be advanced to demonstrate the need for a communist party, the PLP, a central role for our Party in the immediate period.

Liberal Gary Hart Seeks to Turn Wisconsin Protests to U.S. War Aims

Writing about Tea Partiers trumping U.S. imperialist policy from Madison to Tripoli, imperialist strategist Hart says, “There are lessons to be learned meanwhile about the limits of …American power. The struggle here is whether we will return to a pre-New Deal America with many fewer ladders of opportunity, safety nets for the poor and elderly, and regulatory protections for consumers, workers, and the environment.” (Hart’s weblog, 2/21) Hart wants a new New Deal, with even more ladders and nets. He understands U.S. rulers’ need to somehow recreate Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. FDR ran an alphabet soup of social programs, from the militaristic CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) to the job-creating (though slave wage) WPA (Works Progress Administration). It was these, along with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, that helped overcome Tea Party-style 1930s isolationism by luring workers into the arms of a war-making government.

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Oil $$$ Put U.S. Rulers in Iraq for the Long Haul

Most everyone has come to understand that the U.S. rulers’ invasion of Iraq was all about oil. But not even the oil barons knew just how much was up for grabs. Now it’s revealed that Barack Obama has 8.2 million reasons not to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq anytime soon. That’s how many barrels of oil companies like Exxon Mobil claim they can pump every day — if it ever becomes safe for them to operate there.

Stunning production targets emerging from Iraq’s ongoing oilfield licensing talks with major firms put it on a strategic par with oil kingpin Saudi Arabia. The rising stakes underlie the recent upsurge in Iraqi factional violence and guarantee not only a permanent U.S. military occupation but future deadly “surges” to help Exxon & Co. realize their goal. Production today stagnates around 2.3 million barrels a day (mbd).

Invading Iraq was the brainchild of U.S. Big Oil. Occupation plans took shape in a high-level joint project of the Rockefeller-led Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the James A. Baker Institute, imperialist think-tanks both closely linked to Exxon Mobil and J.P. Morgan Chase. Just before the 2003 invasion, the CFR-Baker cabal issued a report, “Iraq: The Day After,” promising that “U.S. and allied military forces will quickly occupy, control, and protect oil fields” in order to “achieve more significant increases — say, to 6 mbd by 2010.”

When the Bushites bungled the invasion by sending too few troops, the liberal, imperialist wing of U.S. capitalists blamed renegade neo-cons like Cheney and Rumsfeld for launching a misguided “war of choice.” But U.S. imperialists cannot afford to walk away from the 8 mbd windfall that new technology makes possible.

Saudi Rulers Unreliable Allies for U.S. Rulers

Controlling 8 mbd of Iraqi crude would sharply reduce U.S. dependence on shaky Saudi Arabia as the world’s sole “swing producer,” meaning a country having enough spare capacity to adjust production in an economic or military crisis.

But Saudi royals rule a powder keg. Though they profit from the most lucrative long-term deal in capitalism’s history, serving as Exxon’s biggest oil supplier, their 30 million subjects receive nothing from this bonanza. They sympathize more with al Qaeda and Hamas than with Washington. Prince Turki al-Faisal, former chief of Saudi intelligence, in an op-ed piece in the NY Times (9/13/09), said it would be unwise for his country to normalize diplomatic relations with U.S. ally Israel. The prince fears that Saudi workers’ anger at Israel’s concentration-camp treatment of Palestinians may dethrone his oily dynasty.

So Exxon Mobil-led groups have bids in for 6.3 mbd, or almost four-fifths of Iraq’s potential [See Table]. Meanwhile the U.S. war machine remains ever poised to invade Saudi Arabia to prop up its ruling princes if the masses were to rebel. The Pentagon has massive bases to the north (Iraq), to the east (Bahrain and Qatar), to the west (Djibouti) and to the south (Diego Garcia).

However, Exxon & Co. shouldn’t start counting their Iraqi chickens just yet. Iraq still has no national law governing oil contracts. And no sooner had Iraq held its first oilfield auction in June, “the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government condemned it as unconstitutional.” (Energy Intelligence, 9/7/09)

More ‘Surges’ On The Agenda?

Fighting among rival Iraqi Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, and attacks on U.S. bases have intensified since the oil projects were revealed. The NY Times (9/13/09) suggests that U.S. troops may have to seize the streets again: “After the withdrawal of most American combat forces from Iraq’s cities on June 30, violence has remained a constant, with attackers able to plant and detonate bombs….seemingly with impunity.”

U.S. rulers and their allies are ready to worsen an already sickening equation: over one million dead Iraqis and more than 4,000 dead GIs “in exchange for” eight million daily barrels of crude.

We need a sharpening fight against U.S. imperialism — in the shops and unions, the communities and churches, among GIs, and in all mass organizations — to mount militant battles against the U.S. bosses’ deadly goals. Out of these class struggles, tying the mountainous racist and economic attacks on the working class to the need to exterminate the profit system, we can build a mass PLP that can lead a communist revolution to destroy capitalism and its endless oil wars.

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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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Soon after Barack Obama’s election, U.S. rulers spelled out his most pressing new task: preparing for widening wars in an intensifying imperialist rivalry. Public notice came through a November 16th New York Times editorial entitled, “A Military for a Dangerous New World.”  Putting economic crises on the back burner, the Times demanded, “the Obama administration will have to rebuild and significantly reshape the military.”

Times editors identified near- and long-term enemies of U.S. imperialism requiring varying levels of mobilization: “The United States and its NATO allies must be able to defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan — and keep pursuing Al Qaeda forces around the world. Pentagon planners must weigh the potential threats posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions, an erratic North Korea, a rising China, an assertive Russia and a raft of unstable countries like Somalia and nuclear-armed Pakistan.”

The editorial, triple the usual length, bore the marks of a significant policy declaration. The leading members of the Times editorial board belong to the Council on Foreign Relations ((CFR), U.S. imperialism’s most influential think-tank.


The Times’s specific recommendations to Obama focus on waging wars to seize and occupy territory, like oil-rich Iraq, while avoiding Bush & Co.’s on-the-cheap errors (Rumsfeld’s “hi-tech,” small mobile force, “shock-and-awe” bombardment). First is “more ground troops.” The rulers’ “newspaper of record” endorses Obama’s campaign call for 92,000 additional soldiers and marines to total “759,000 active-duty ground troops.” It also notes that the U.S. had 200,000 more foot soldiers than “at the end of the Cold War.”

The rulers’ plan implies that Obama, especially with his appeal to so-called “minorities” — who began abandoning the military under Bush — can boost troop strength significantly before resorting to a draft. However, his appeal includes white youth as well. A big part of his “National Service” program includes youth in general, considering ROTC a “service organization,” returning it to the Ivy League colleges, as well as using “National Service” as an umbrella to re-build the entire military — officers, non-commissioned officers and GI’s.

The Times says Obama’s enhanced forces can multiply U.S. might by creating U.S.-led colonial armies in conquered lands. “The military also must field more specialized units, including more trainers to help friendly countries develop their own armies to supplement or replace American troops in conflict zones.”
The rulers, speaking through the Times, also want Obama to ensure that the U.S. war machine can invade wherever it pleases: “The country must ensure its ability — so-called lift capacity — to [transport] enormous quantities of men and material quickly around the world and to supply them when necessary by sea.” In addition to building more fast cargo ships, “the Pentagon needs to spend more on capable, smaller coastal warcraft” says the Times manifesto.

But it also warns that the U.S. should not abandon its lethal carrier groups, which may come in handy against China some day. “China is expanding its deep-water navy, much to the anxiety of many of its neighbors. The United States should not try to block China’s re-emergence as a great power. Neither can it cede the seas. Nor can it allow any country to interfere with vital maritime lanes.”


The editorial mentions the rulers’ need to portray their deadly imperialist adventures as “righteous causes.” It calls “the fight in Afghanistan, the war on terror’s front line,” when the war, in fact, represents U.S. imperialists’ efforts to check their Russian rivals’ expansionism. The U.S. and Russian bosses are locked in a bitter, ever-sharpening struggle to control the vast oil and natural gas of the Caspian Sea region, their exploitation and the transport routes to market them.

Bush, Jr. bungled the Big Lie maneuver with his blatantly false “weapons-of-mass-destruction” pretext for invading Iraq. Bush, Sr. had played the Big Lie like a violin, marshalling world support against Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, which the U.S. had, in fact, encouraged.

Bill Clinton also proved a master of the Big Lie. Vowing to stop “ethnic cleansing,” Clinton unleashed a bombing campaign — bigger than anything since World War II — on the former Yugoslavia. Here too, the real target was securing pipeline routes to transport Caspian Sea energy riches to the European market, by-passing Russia and erecting military bases to encircle Russia in preparation for global war.
Each of these “noble” U.S. efforts claimed over a million lives, mainly civilian.

The war agenda the Times outlines explains Obama’s bait-and-switch choice of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Deceitfully courting anti-war voters in the primaries, Obama had attacked Clinton’s 2002 Senate vote for invading Iraq. Firmly under the bosses’ control, president-elect Obama makes warmaker Hillary a major agent of U.S. foreign policy.

On the economy, Obama’s appointment of Timothy Geithner to Treasury Secretary signals that whatever the new administration does will favor U.S. imperialists over workers. Geithner is a protégé of the biggest U.S. war criminals. He has toiled for the profit system both at Kissinger Associates and the CFR.

Basically, the Times’ ruling-class plan is a warning to the international working class that U.S. rulers are hell-bent to maintain their military supremacy worldwide, to be in position to launch wars whenever and wherever they feel their “strategic interests” — mainly control of oil — are threatened. Their past adventures which killed millions will seem paltry compared to what’s in the works.

All the more reason for the working class to challenge these murderers, and build PLP into a mass communist party capable of winning millions of workers, soldiers and students to answer their bloodbath with revolution to destroy this hellish, war-producing profit system.

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Russia-U.S. Rivalry Sharpens War Threat, Intensifies Fascism

Russia’s onslaught into Georgia, a major strategic setback for U.S. rulers, shifts the imperialist rivalry into a new, more dangerous phase. The U.S. war machine no longer holds a monopoly on invasion and must now contend with the restored might of Moscow’s 1,200,000-strong nuclear-armed forces. For example, Pentagon planners targeting Iran will have to raise their estimates of needed troops and figure out how to get them.

Eight years ago, the top-level, Clinton-appointed Hart-Rudman commission formulated far-reaching plans for maintaining U.S. global supremacy into the 21st Century, including militarization under a domestic police state. Its foreign policy chapter stated, “It is a critical national interest of the United States that no hostile… [predominant power] arise in any of the globe’s major regions, nor a hostile global peer rival or a hostile coalition comparable to a peer rival.”  On Russia, Hart-Rudman warned against political developments that Putin in fact later led, “A form of Russian national socialism [fascism — Ed.], emboldened by a revived form of pan-Slavism, could do enormous harm over all of Eurasia and beyond” [“harm” to U.S. ruling-class interests ––Ed].


Former KGB agent Putin’s success in reorganizing Russia into an imperialist power contrasts sharply with Bush’s failure to carry out Hart-Rudman’s recommendations. Putin has mercilessly disciplined pro-U.S. political dissenters and businessmen. Alexander Litvinenko, a KGB turncoat who criticized the Kremlin from London, died horribly in 2006 from a Russian-sourced radioactive poison. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, ex-chief of the former oil giant Yukos — which he tried to sell to Exxon Mobil — rots in a Siberian jail, his latest parole bid summarily denied. Putin ended regional elections and effectively nationalized major industry, especially energy, which Russia wields as a weapon.

The soaring price of oil, partly due to the U.S.’s Iraq fiasco — which has been far from meeting predicted oil production goals — has helped immensely to strengthen oil-exporting Russia. But mostly, Putin & Co. have stirred up a nationalist fervor for resurrecting the old Russian empire. The Russians have a big head start in moving to an imperialist wartime footing, stemming from both good and bad periods of their past.

From World War II, they retain the collective memory of the red-led mass mobilization against their Nazi enemies — the greatest single undertaking in history. In the late 1980s, the now state-capitalist Soviet rulers opted for open capitalism, crushing all workers’ past gains, and the old Soviet Union imploded. U.S. capitalism chose this as an opportunity to install a “new world order” with only one superpower — the U.S.

This worked for a while, but the U.S./NATO war against Russian ally Serbia became the turning point for Russia’s bosses. The latter needed justification to get back at the U.S. and the recent U.S./NATO-inspired independence for Kosovo — taking it away from Serbia — fit the bill. Following Georgia’s invasion of its two northern pro-Russian autonomous provinces, Moscow turned around and recognized their independence.
Russia’s bosses have used nationalistic patriotism to influence workers to accept worsening living conditions and tight government social control. Pensions are down, the former communist-led healthcare system is in shambles, wages go unpaid for months, and prostitution and Mafia-type crime are rife.
Bosses’ nationalist and profit drives, whether from Moscow or Washington, run counter to the interests of the international working class, including Russia’s workers.


U.S. rulers, on the other hand, thought they could counter Russian influence in the old Soviet bloc without committing U.S. ground troops. They banked on bribes instead, through election-fixing “revolutions” in Georgia and the Ukraine among others, financed by Rockefeller ally and billionaire George Soros, and massive arms shipments to two-bit pro-U.S. leaders like Georgia’s Saakashvili.

While the Bush gang tortures and murders “detainees” in its worldwide prison camps and terrorizes immigrants at home, it has failed to enact the society-transforming fascistic measures outlined in Hart-Rudman and other strategic proposals. These include a thorough revamping of education “in the national interest,” a top-to-bottom centralization of law enforcement agencies, and a systematic indoctrination of elected officials to support the rulers’ military priorities.

To their dismay, only the Homeland Security Department proposal has been established, and that is pretty disorganized although able to carry out terroristic anti-immigrant raids. (See page 3) In addition, instead of ruling-class-imposed discipline, economic chaos reigns domestically. Bankers, bent on doing whatever they please, got rid of their nemesis Eliot Spitzer, the rulers’ supposed Sheriff of Wall Street. Financial crises mount. U.S. rulers are counting on “Change” candidate Barack Obama to initiate the mobilization they need. Their new situation regarding Russia explains why Obama chose arch-imperialist draft supporter Joe Biden as his running mate. [See adjoining box and article on Conventions, page 2]

Russia’s newfound militarism is already damages U.S. influence far beyond Georgia, Agence France Presse reported (8/17/08). “President Hugo Chavez said…that Russian President Dimitri Medvedev wants to send a Russian naval fleet to visit Venezuela.” And Russia is increasing its arms sales to U.S. foe Syria. We don’t say that World War III will start tomorrow. We do, however, recognize that chances for a global flare-up have risen qualitatively, without counting either China’s inevitably destabilizing role or Europe’s ambiguous loyalties. The rulers’ power grabs constantly increase the risk of deadlier wars.

All this U.S. capitalist economic anarchy and faltering trillion-dollar wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have come down hard on the U.S. working class while killing millions of workers abroad. Wages are down, prices and unemployment are up, racist policy brutality and Nazi-like immigration raids are intensifying. The only road to reverse such assaults — in both the U.S. and Russia, as well as worldwide — it to build a mass international Progressive Labor Party that aims to establish a profit-free communist society without exploitation, unemployment, racism, sexism and capitalist borders.


Joe Biden voted for the Iraq war and the fascist Patriot Act. He wants to send U.S. soldiers as “peacekeepers” to fight pro-China forces in Darfur. He now sponsors a bill that would send $15 billion in aid to Pakistan’s yet-to-be-named next dictator. Biden’s ruling-class mentor is Leslie Gelb, former NY Times editor and head of the Rockefeller-financed Council on Foreign Relations. Together they wrote a major policy paper on Iraq which proposed partitioning it into three autonomous regions, a plan that foundered on the inability to apportion its huge oil reserves.

In 2005, Biden told NBC News, “The United States will ‘have to face’ a painful dilemma on restoring the military draft as rising casualties result in persistent shortfalls in US army recruitment (Agence France Presse, 6/12/05). “It’s just a reality,” Biden said.

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Russian and U.S.-backed Georgian forces have killed thousands of civilians as they battle for oil routes and political dominance in the republic of Georgia that was part of the southern region of the former Soviet Union. (Georgia broke away from Russia after 1991.) Fighting began on August 8 when Georgia launched an offensive to regain control of the South Ossetia region from pro-Russian separatists. Moscow responded by sending in troops and tanks and shelling cities.

“War started today,” Russian premier Putin boasted to George Bush at the Beijing Olympics (Bloomberg, 8/08/08). Bush, leader of “the world’s sole superpower,” could only mutter feebly about “supporting Georgia’s territorial integrity.” A day later, 4,000 Russian troops landed in Abkhazia, another breakaway Georgian province. Russia’s Black Sea fleet steamed to the Georgian coast threatening a blockade.


Putin’s moves in Georgia endanger the centerpiece of U.S. rulers’ efforts to counter Russia’s expanding energy-based imperialism. The new U.S.- and British-financed Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, one of the world’s largest, runs through Georgia, skirting South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Opened in 2006, operated by British Petroleum, and owned partly by Chevron, it carries more than one million barrels of Caspian crude per day to Western Europe and the U.S. through the Turkish port of Ceyhan on the Mediterrean (see map).
Strategists in the Clinton administration chose the BTC route in order to bypass Russia and Iran. Its Ceyhan terminus sits conveniently close to the U.S. Air Force’s vast base at Incirlik, Turkey. But the U.S. has nevertheless proven supremely incapable of protecting its BTC lifeline. Russian troops reportedly fired on it in Georgia. And Kurdish rebels in Turkey had shut it down temporarily a week before by setting it on fire.


The fighting in Georgia is one for control of the world’s energy resources. U.S. rulers’ struggle to control Georgia is aimed at preventing their Russian rivals from replacing the U.S. as the world’s main energy controller. But oil and gas are only part — though a very big part — of an even larger conflict between U.S. and Russian rulers over political and military control of the former Soviet nations now outside Russia.
Expanding NATO throughout the former Soviet bloc and installing a shield of nuclear missiles there, aimed at Russia as well as at Iran, are vital U.S. goals. But ever since they boosted the anti-Soviet “Solidarity” movement in Poland in the 1980s, U.S. rulers, lacking a military home field advantage, have focused on buying elections in the region.

Billionaire swindler and Rockefeller ally George Soros has led the charge, bankrolling anti-Russian, pro-U.S. “color revolutions” in the old Soviet sphere. Its aim was to oust pro-Russian governments in Georgia (its banner was Rose) and in the Ukraine (Orange). Soros helped engineer Mikhail Saakashvili’s 2003 defeat of Georgian president and ex-Soviet Politburo member Eduard Shevardnadze. “It’s generally accepted public opinion here that Mr. Soros is the person who planned Shevardnadze’s overthrow,” the Toronto Globe and Mail said at the time (11/26/03). The Kremlin responded to these U.S. “victories” by curtailing gas supplies to Ukraine and Georgia, which hastened the present crisis.

The U.S. liberal establishment molded Saakashvili. He graduated from Columbia Law School and practiced at the prestigious Wall Street firm Patterson Belknap, which counts the Rockefeller Foundation as a top client. Soros personally presented Saakashvili with his Open Society Award. Consequently, Georgia under Saakashvili proved a staunch U.S. ally, until the Russian onslaught. Georgia just recalled 1,000 troops it had aiding the U.S. in Iraq back to its new home fronts.


U.S. rulers understand that two-bit proxies like Georgia can’t ultimately prevail in global conflicts with rising powers like Russia (or China). And with the shortcomings of their present “volunteer” military — who enlisted mostly because of economic hardship — U.S. rulers won’t be able to intervene to protect their interests. Therefore, they will need a draft, which will likely begin in the form of a “National Service,” part of which will lead especially working-class youth into the military.

A May 5 report issued jointly by the liberal Brookings Institution and the Army War College concluded that the “impact of fighting long wars using an all-volunteer force needs to be looked at more closely.” Both Obama and McCain will restore a “National Service” draft because, if they don’t, they will be as powerless against emerging imperialist rivals as is Bush.

Desperate for wider wars, U.S. rulers bombard the youth they will soon draft with dead-end, pro-capitalist patriotism. Russian bosses use Nazi-like nationalism, while Georgian misleaders count on meaningless racism and“ethnicity.” It’s all a trap. The only way out of the profit system’s endless wars is a mass communist-led revolution of the working class. This is Progressive Labor Party’s goal.

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Mis-leading Workers and Youth: Obama Spurs Rulers’ War Agenda

Swelling support for Barack Obama is a two-sided phenomenon. On one hand, it reflects the sincere but misdirected anti-war, anti-racist aspirations of millions of people. On the other, it marks a concerted ruling-class effort to win these millions to the electoral system and thus to implicitly back U.S. imperialism. Communists should work among these masses to turn this around.

So whom does Obama serve, and what’s his agenda? A big hint comes from arch-imperialist Paul Volcker’s recent endorsement of Obama. Chief economist at Chase bank, director of the Rockefeller-led Trilateral Commission, Federal Reserve chairman who put millions out of work by jacking up interest rates to 20% to bail out bankers in the 1980s, Volcker hopes Obama’s “leadership…can restore confidence in our vision, our strength, and our purposes right around the world.” (Wall Street Journal, 1/31/08)


Volcker exemplifies U.S. rulers who — facing inevitable clashes with regional rivals like Iran and global ones like China and Russia — need to mobilize and militarize millions of people. Obama, with his broad appeal to young students and workers, is giving the war-makers invaluable help. Robert Putnam, from Harvard’s Kennedy School, a top imperialist policy factory, writes, “Primaries and caucuses…in the last two months have evinced the sharpest increase in civic engagement among American youth in at least a half-century, portending a remarkable revitalization of American democracy.” (Boston Globe, 3/2/08) He could have said more honestly, “of the U.S. war machine.”

Crediting, both the “extraordinary” Obama campaign and 9/11 for the upturn, Putnam calls the new crop of voters a second “Greatest Generation.” He likens them to the tens of millions who, whether enlisted or drafted, fought fascism in World War II. The capitalists Putnam represents (the Ford, Getty, Carnegie, and Rockefeller foundations bankroll his “civic engagement” program at Harvard) hope voting will boost patriotism and, ultimately, troop strength.


Near the end of, and after, the Vietnam War, the rulers tried several tactics to control youth. They dropped the voting age to 18 in 1972. Some bought it. That year 52% of 18- to 24-year-olds voted, while millions received a steady diet of drugs and other aspects of a dead-end “do-your-own-thing” culture. In fact, with war out of the way temporarily, youth apathy pleased the bosses. Youth rates of voting in presidential elections fell steadily throughout the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, reaching barely 36% in 2000. But by then China had emerged, and Russia reemerged, as serious U.S. foes. U.S. bosses now needed major sources of cannon fodder.

As Putnam notes, “Then came the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001… a tragedy, but also the sort of opportunity for civic revival that comes along once or twice a century…. In the 2004 and 2006 elections, turnout among young people began at last to climb after decades of decline.” Like the rulers’ pre-9/11 Hart-Rudman Commission reports, Putnam welcomes terrorist mass murder as an aid in “galvanizing” the U.S. for global war. But, as motivators, 9/11s and Pearl Harbors, however useful, wane over time. They must be sustained by a Roosevelt-style, media-fueled charisma that mis-leads workers into voting booths, against their class interest.


Putnam’s — and U.S. imperialism’s — reputed savior, Obama has a long history of luring people of military age into the system. His “Project Vote” in Chicago in the 1990s registered over 100,000 young first-time voters. Obama, who promises to add 92,000 soldiers to the Army immediately, has participated in the Seminar on Civic Engagement that Putnam leads at Harvard.

Pretending to be the “Out-of-Iraq” peace candidate, Obama supports the war agenda just as much as Clinton and McCain do. He recently fired a foreign policy advisor, Samantha Power, for letting that cat out of the bag. (Power, another Kennedy School guru, specializes in disguising military invasions as “humanitarian interventions.”) On March 6, a BBC reporter asked her: “So what the American public thinks is a commitment to get combat forces out in 16 months isn’t a commitment?” Power’s answer: “You can’t make a commitment in March 2008 about what circumstances will be like in January of 2009.”

Yes, Obama’s voting numbers present us an opportunity because they show that young people are now less cynical and more open to “talking politics.” But just what politics is crucial. The highly politicized Hitler Youth weren’t cynical. Many earnestly hoped for the better world Nazi imperialism claimed to offer. And Hitler, after all, professing “socialism,” was able to rally many well-meaning people seeking change to support German industrialists’ deadly schemes for territorial expansion.

Unless we actively participate in Obama’s campaign and expose his true purposes, any Obama success at the polls will prove deadly to the working class. The fatally deceptive optimism he sells masks imperialist objectives that are the exact opposite of PLP’s working-class program. Our long-term goals are waging a revolution to destroy the profit system and its endless wars and making a communist-led working class the rulers of society.

Obama’s Phony ‘Anti-War’ Roots

Obama mirrors both the rulers’ phony anti-war candidates McCarthy (1968) and McGovern (1972) as well as that era’s pro-capitalist, pacifist civil rights misleaders. McCarthy drew thousands of youth into his “anti-Vietnam War” campaign and actually forced the rulers to dump incumbent Lyndon Johnson. But the war went on. In 1972, McGovern again brought thousands of young people around his “anti-war” candidacy, but that effort didn’t end the war either.
When masses were in motion then, demanding change, PLP exposed the imperialist political content of those movements. Politics are primary.

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