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Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Thursday, December 31, 2009
New Year's Eve, December 31, 2009
The big news of the year was President Obama's Election, the near meltdown of the U.S. economy, resultant government bailouts and major health insurance reform legislation, minus a public option. Towards the end of this year the escalation of war in Afghanistan and other regurgitations of the Bush War on Terrorism dominated the headlines with regional wars brewing around the globe, including Latin America. It has been another year of troubles upon Mother Earth.
We came into the New Year of 2009 with great expectations for the future. The Fuhrer Bush reign was over and the evil energy emanating from the Oval Office Cabal was dissipated. In U.S. history, White racism and its negative effects has been the major cause of division in U.S. society, after the cleavage of economic classes. White-Americans overcame significant remnants of racism when they cast their ballots for President in November of 2008 and actually elected Barack Obama to be the 44th President of the United States of America.
I had already read Obama's book The Audacity of Hope. He identified himself first and foremost as an authentic American, not an African-American. He consciously and consistently ran his Presidential Campaign as an American in order to represent all Americans, that is, U.S. citizens. I thought the odds against him winning were great, but he won against all odds. After eight ugly years with Fuhrer Bush it was obvious that the country was ready for real fundamental change. His opponent John McCain was not much of an improvement over Fuhrer Bush and his policies.
Obama, being aware of the power of mass psychology, had the positive affirmative slogan of YES WE CAN! SI SE PUEDE! Obama's campaign integrated communications technology via Internet power and mass media into the whole process of local field organizing. He was hip to mass media via Internet power and was able to raise almost a billion dollars for his campaign, though, who will say for sure? Obama had the whole package: intelligence, eloquence, composure and being handsome, plus the self-confidence of a winner's smile! He won my vote!
Big trouble was already brewing in the U.S. economy. In early January President-elect Obama urged Congress to act quickly to pass sweeping economic stimulus measures with an infusion of as much as $800 billion; China had overtaken Germany as the world's third-largest economy; in February, the U.S. government had already pledged more than $11.6 trillion on behalf of American taxpayers; in March, job prospects hit a 26-year low; in April, foreclosure rates rose to a record, affecting one in every 374 housing units; in July, seven banks were shut down by authorities, pushing the tally of failed banks for 2009 to 52, more than double 2008 failures. In essence, the whole U.S. economy of corporate capitalism was threatened with a major global meltdown.
It is to Obama's credit that the whole U.S. economy did not collapse mainly due to sinking the U.S. economy into a huge historic debt running up to the trillions. In connected reality, the whole economy is already bankrupt!
In August, Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latina Supreme Court Justice of Puerto Rican ancestry. Many Latinos and women were thrilled. As Chicanos we actually had hoped that she would usher in significant humane immigration reform. As of New Year's Eve of 2009 this has not come to pass.
We will use the term 'Latinos' for general purposes in reference to Chicanos, Mexicans, Hispanics and others whose ancestry is native to the Americas, especially Aztlan (roughly the U.S. southwest).
What so-called financial experts consider an economic recession for the middle-class worrying about foreclosures is actually a Great Depression for the lower-classes concerned about keeping a roof over their heads.
A lot has happened this year that changed the global social landscape in the world. Good seeds have been planted that will sprout up in 2010. Sadly, there are tens of thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq; the Afghan War has been further escalated and now unmanned drone planes are used on a routine basis. Life is war and the war goes on.
Many progressive elements who voted for and supported President Obama thought that he was going to bring about a lot of major fundamental changes that have not yet come to pass. Red flags should have gone up when he recruited Hilary Clinton for Secretary of State and kept Robert Gates on from the Bush Regime as Secretary of Defense. Politically correct decisions should be made based upon the primacy of humane ethics, spiritual principles and decent morals, not popularity contests.
Thus, after a year that began with great expectations, it has dwindled down to one of great disappointments. The coming year will have deepening and widening social contradictions with great challenges calling for great contributions as we struggle onwards towards total liberation for all of the human family!
Link: Change.org's 2009 Year in Review
Monday, December 07, 2009
By Larry Everest
By Larry Everest
On Tuesday, December 1, at the U.S. Military Academy in
These military forces will not be going to
West Point speech is being called the "defining moment" of Obama's presidency. Thus far into his term, at least, that is true. So it is important to look deeply at the questions Obama posed and the answers he gave—and in doing so to get into the real underlying causes of the military escalation now being put into effect.
Why is the
Army in U.S. ? Afghanistan
Obama began his speech this way: "It is important to recall why
and our allies were compelled to fight a war in America in the first place. We did not ask for this fight. On Afghanistan September 11, 2001, nineteen men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people. They struck at our military and economic nerve centers.… As we know, these men belonged to al Qaeda…. Al Qaeda's base of operations was in , where they were harbored by the Taliban—a ruthless, repressive and radical movement that seized control of that country after it was ravaged by years of Soviet occupation and civil war, and after the attention of Afghanistan and our friends had turned elsewhere." America
Obama later returned to his explanation of why the Taliban and al Qaeda had taken root in
Obama implies that the
had nothing to do with the Soviet invasion of U.S. , and that it bears no responsibility for the growth of the Taliban and al Qaeda there, or the spread of Islamic fundamentalism in the region. According to Obama, the Afghanistan itself therefore played no role in the events that lead to the attacks of 9/11. U.S.
The facts are different. The
The Carter administration undertook this operation because at the time the
was locked in a bitter struggle for global supremacy with what was then the U.S. Soviet Union.* After helping trigger the invasion, the Afghanistan worked behind the scenes with U.S. and Pakistan throughout the 1980s to make the war much longer, more violent, and more destructive. These forces organized, funded, and armed the Mujahideen ("warriors for Islam"). While many other Afghans took up arms against the Soviet invaders, the Saudi Arabia and its partners worked to build up the reactionary Islamic fundamentalist fighters. Over the next decade, the U.S. government funneled more than $3 billion in arms and aid to these fundamentalist forces, and in so doing helped fuel a global Islamist movement. This is where Osama bin Laden got his start. This is where the seeds of al Qaeda and the Taliban were first sown. U.S.
During the 1980s there were some Afghans fighting against the Soviet occupation who opposed religious fundamentalism and both
and Soviet imperialism. They stood for an entirely different future—a future free of imperialist domination, free of capitalist exploitation, and free of the backward, traditional feudal social relations and ideology that keep most of the Afghan people in shackles—especially women. These forces were led by U.S. 's revolutionary Maoists. Yet these forces were targeted—viciously and murderously—by all the reactionary forces involved in the Afghan conflict—the U.S. imperialists, the Soviet imperialists, the Islamic Mujahideen, and the U.S.-backed warlords. Afghanistan
When the Soviets finally pulled out of
in 1989, more than a million Afghans (along with 15,000 Soviet soldiers) had been killed and one-third of the population—that's over 7 million people—driven into refugee camps. Just two years later, the Afghanistan Soviet Union collapsed. Its defeat in had played a major role. Afghanistan
was left in a state of civil war between the existing pro-Soviet regime and different groups of Islamist religious fanatics and reactionary warlords who fought each other while repressing the people. Yet the Afghanistan rulers considered their Afghan gambit a tremendous success. When asked by the French newspaper Le Nouvel Observateur in 1998 (January 15) whether he regretted inducing the Soviet invasion of U.S. and "having supported the Islamic [fighters], having given arms and advice to future terrorists," Brzezinski replied: "Regret what?... What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Afghanistan Central Europe and the end of the cold war?"
"What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these 'outmodeds,' you end up strengthening both."
Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist
It is easy, of course, to start the movie on
September 11, 2001. But if you press the rewind button you find out that the government had not been innocently minding its business all these years only to find itself the victim of an utterly unprovoked attack. U.S.
There is a whole history here of arming and utilizing Islamic fundamentalists, and of being party to destroying a million lives. Indeed, it is hard to overstate the level of horror and needless suffering that was visited on the Afghan people through this superpower dance of death. All of this was done in the interests of preserving and defending
imperial domination. None of that justifies what was done on 911—but if we are to understand the actual causes of what is going on, we had best understand the full dimensions of the story. U.S.
Is Obama's "Attention Deficit Disorder" Diagnosis True?
Obama said that after the Soviet withdrawal from
in 1989, "the attention of Afghanistan and our friends had turned elsewhere." America
So where was
attention focused in the 1990s in this part of the world? Beginning with the first Bush administration (George H.W. Bush) and continuing through the U.S. administration, the Clinton moved on a number of fronts to consolidate the tremendous advantage it derived from the fall of the U.S. Soviet Union. It aimed in particular to deepen and extend its domination of the Middle East and Central Asia. This included the 1991 invasion and destruction of Iraq, which caused what a U.S. Census Bureau international analyst—Beth Osborne Daponte—estimated to be over 200,000 deaths (another 500,000 at least were killed by UN sanctions during the 1990s), and the basing of massive U.S. military forces in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States. It also included new overtures to, and increased working through, predominantly Hindu India, which aggravated the rivalry between and India —a rivalry which the Pakistan has attempted to manipulate and play for its own advantage. All this, along with the continued U.S. support for U.S. in the face of the massive rebellion of the Palestinian people in the late '80s and early '90s, involved tremendous and often horrific levels of violence against Arab and Central Asian peoples and the assertion of open Israel domination. U.S.
At the same time, deeper American economic and social penetration of the region modernized certain aspects of the societies there, while undercutting traditional relations. Taken together, all this led to the beginning of open conflict between the
and Islamist forces. The same so-called "holy warriors" whom the U.S. had initially supported and often pulled together on the basis of reactionary opposition to "modernization" now began to oppose the U.S. and to carry out guerrilla operations against it in that region. Meanwhile, by 1996, the Pakistani government had helped install the Taliban in U.S. to both stabilize the country under extremely repressive Islamic rule, and to use it as a counterweight to Indian ambitions in Afghanistan and the region. All these developments led the Afghanistan , by the late 1990s, to once again intensify its attention to U.S. , in the context of the region as a whole. During this period a consensus emerged (which was solidified by 9/11) among what would become the dominant political forces in the U.S. that Islamic fundamentalism was becoming a prime obstacle to U.S. objectives, that it would need to be defeated, and that a radical restructuring of the whole region was needed to undercut these forces and secure U.S. hegemony. Afghanistan
Much of this history is well-known—certainly to anyone in public office or in the mainstream press. Yet following Obama's speech there was no comment on his "omission" from either.
What Was the
Trying to Accomplish By Invading U.S. in 2001? Afghanistan
Obama defends the decision to invade
and says it brought good results. He notes that Congress "authorized the use of force against al Qaeda and those who harbored them, an authorization that continues to this day"—98-0 in the Senate, 420-1 in the House of Representatives—and that NATO supported the U.S. and that the UN Security Council "endorsed the use of all necessary steps to respond to the 9/11 attacks. Afghanistan , our allies, and the world were acting as one to destroy al Qaeda's terrorist network and to protect our common security." America
"Under the banner of this domestic unity and international legitimacy—and only after the Taliban refused to turn over Osama bin Laden—we sent our troops into
Here we must go deeper into exactly what was done under "this banner of domestic unity and international legitimacy" and why.
The Bush regime had a number of objectives in invading
in October 2001. First, to quickly and massively attack and conquer Afghanistan in order to demonstrate to the world that Afghanistan 's will had not been shaken by the September 11 attacks and that it was still willing and able to crush with overwhelming force any who dared challenge it. This is not just macho posturing, but essential to maintaining global "credibility"—i.e., fear—and dominance. America
Second, the U.S. wanted to quickly overthrow the Taliban regime and install a loyal client state in Afghanistan as part of an overarching effort to deepen its military control of Central Asia (Afghanistan abuts two of the U.S.'s main potential rivals—Russia and China) and to gain greater access to and control of the region's energy. (During the 1990s the
Simply capturing or killing Osama bin Laden was never the central objective. (Obama's claim that the
invaded U.S. "only after the Taliban refused to turn over Osama bin Laden" is at least open to serious question. According to the Guardian UK (10/14/01), "President George Bush rejected as 'non-negotiable' an offer by the Taliban to discuss turning over Osama bin Laden if the United States ended the bombing in Afghanistan.") Afghanistan
Obama praises the results of the
invasion: "Within a matter of months, al Qaeda was scattered and many of its operatives were killed. The Taliban was driven from power and pushed back on its heels. A place that had known decades of fear now had reason to hope," and points to the formation of a U.S.-created regime with Karzai at the head as a positive development "to help bring a lasting peace to a war-torn country." U.S.
It was nothing of the kind. The Karzai regime was a regime of
lackeys, warlords, drug-dealers and war criminals—many as hated as the Taliban they replaced. Warlord Gen. Abdul Dostom, who has served as Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Afghan National Army under Karzai, is responsible for the 2001 Dasht-e-Leili massacre when some 2,000 prisoners of war were forced into boxcars, suffocated to death, and dumped in the desert. And, among other viciously anti-woman policies and laws, the US-installed Afghan government passed a law in February, 2009, which applies to U.S. 's Shia population (10-15 percent of the Afghan people) that explicitly legalizes rape in marriage by banning women from refusing to have sex with their husbands. That law also prevents women from working, going to school, getting access to health care or other services, or even leaving her home without husband's permission. This replacement of one set of oppressors with another—not surprisingly—did nothing to end oppression there. Rather it reinforced the sources of oppression in Afghanistan —foreign domination, capitalism and feudalism, religious fundamentalism, and patriarchy. Afghanistan
(It is also important to briefly take note of what else was done under "the banner of domestic unity and international legitimacy." In the days directly after 9/11, the Bush Administration introduced the USA-PATRIOT Act, which tremendously heightened the reach and scope of the repressive apparatus in the U.S. Immigrants were rounded up and held for months without charges and often deported in the dead of night. Massive surveillance programs were begun, beyond even what had been authorized by the PATRIOT Act and without the knowledge of most of Congress. "State secrets" was made an excuse to deny all kinds of information that showed the U.S. in a bad light, even when this meant preventing people who had been detained and tortured "by mistake" from having their day in court. The
arrogated to itself the right to kill and capture people anywhere in the world, without trial, if the U.S. suspected these people of being "terrorists." Most dramatically, it instituted a widespread regimen of torture—beginning at Guantánamo (where people were detained indefinitely, in violation of international law and of the U.S. Constitution) and then spreading throughout the military, into U.S. and Iraq ; and over 100 people were killed as a result of this torture. None of this was even mentioned in Obama's speech—in large part because he has actually continued the great majority of these repressive measures!) Afghanistan
Why is the Taliban Resurgent and the
Occupation in Trouble? U.S.
"It is a system of capitalism-imperialism…a system in which U.S. imperialism is the most monstrous, most oppressive superpower…a system driven by a relentless chase after profit, which brings horror upon horror, a nightmare seemingly without end, for the vast majority of humanity: poverty and squalor…torture and rape…the wholesale domination and degradation of women everywhere…wars, invasions and occupations…assassinations and massacres… planes, missiles, tanks and troops of the USA bombarding people in faraway lands while they sleep in their homes or go about their daily lives, blasting their little children to pieces, cutting down men and women in the prime of life, or in old age, kicking down their doors and dragging them away in the middle of the night…while here in the USA itself the police harass, brutalize and murder youth in the streets of the inner cities—over and over again—and then they spit out their maddening insults, insisting that this is 'justified,' as if these youth are not human beings, have no right to live, deserve no respect and no future."
From "The Revolution We Need… The Leadership We Have: A Message, And A Call, From The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA." Revolution #170, revcom.us
How did things get to the current point—with the Taliban resurgent and the
occupiers in trouble and losing ground? U.S.
Obama claims that after starting out well things started going badly (i.e., for the
occupiers) in U.S. for two reasons. First, "in early 2003, the decision was made to wage a second war in Afghanistan ... for the next six years, the Iraq war drew the dominant share of our troops, our resources, our diplomacy, and our national attention..." Iraq
Second, while the Karzai regime is "a legitimate government ... elected by the Afghan people," according to Obama, "it's been hampered by corruption, the drug trade, an under-developed economy, and insufficient security forces."
Second, while the Karzai regime is "a legitimate government ... elected by the Afghan people," according to Obama, "it's been hampered by corruption, the drug trade, an under-developed economy, and insufficient security forces."
What about this explanation? Yes, resources were diverted to the war in
. But without getting into a full analysis of the trajectory of the Iraq war, it's important to note that this isn't the essential reason for the Taliban's resurgence and its ability to "control additional swaths of territory in Afghanistan " as Obama put it. There are deeper reasons which have to do with what Afghanistan capitalism-imperialism brings to the world and countries like U.S. . Afghanistan
The first is the brutality of the
occupation. U.S. forces—hailed as heroes by Obama—have committed countless atrocities in Afghanistan—from bombing wedding parties, to murdering civilians, to humiliating Afghans with house-to-house searches, to locking people up in U.S.-controlled dungeons, where torture, illegal detention, and rendition have been in effect. U.S.
Here's one example. On
These crimes have strengthened the Taliban. The Taliban for its part has used a combination of strong-arming people combined with playing upon the nationalist sentiments of the masses (particularly the Pashtun nationality in
), as well as the appeal of "traditional Islam" in a society that has been deeply shattered, to take advantage of this. Afghanistan
Second, the warlords, landlords, tribal chiefs and pro-U.S. power brokers in
It was not until 2005 that the Taliban began to mount an offensive against the occupation in earnest; the
And there is a deeper reason here. You cannot "improve life" for the Afghan people without uprooting the traditional social relations, and the class forces that benefit from those relations, which have held the masses in subjugation and darkness for centuries. Imperialism introduces great instability into oppressed nations, driving peasants off land and into the cities, and often introducing education to a broader section of masses (in order to modernize some sectors of the society). This is a byproduct of, and a necessity for, the implantation of capitalist relations in predominantly feudal societies. In doing this, imperialism relies on the former ruling forces and new elites to keep a lid on the upheaval ("to manage the transition," in their words)—that is, to prevent masses from raising their heads and rebelling against the exploitation, the dispossession, and the backward relations and ideas that still hold the society and its people in their grip. Imperialism relies on, and must rely on, the very forces, in other words, that benefit from either the old traditional forms of oppression or the new "market-based" ones—and sometimes both.
The kind of revolution that would decisively move to uproot those relations—the kind of revolution that would rely on and unleash the masses to take destiny into their own hands -- would necessarily directly oppose structures of foreign (including
Third, Obama mentioned that al Qaeda and the Taliban had been able to establish havens in
(While Obama did not spell out his precise plans for Pakistan, a subject we'll be covering in future issues of Revolution, there are widespread reports that he will be escalating the war there too, including through stepped up attacks by drone or unmanned aircraft. The stability of the Pakistani state is of major concern to the imperialists and one of their main reasons for escalating in
Again, these are the kinds of relations and regimes the
promotes around the world. And Obama is not breaking from this practice—he's escalating it, as we'll discuss below. U.S.
How Can Obama Label One Million Deaths a "Success"?
While Obama spoke out against the war in Iraq in 2002, and rode to the White House based in large part on the credibility among the disaffected with which that endowed him, at West Point he hailed this war as a success and job well done: "Today, after extraordinary costs, we are bringing the Iraq war to a responsible end ... we have given Iraqis a chance to shape their future, and we are successfully leaving Iraq to its people." And his "surge" in
is being justified by, and modeled in important ways on, Bush's "successful" surge in Afghanistan . Iraq
Let's take a closer look at what Obama calls "success." The war in Iraq—a war based on lies—cost the lives of between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Iraqis; over 4 million have been driven from their homes; the Sunni population—some 20 percent of Iraq's population—has been decimated by the U.S. occupation and a sectarian war of ethnic cleansing unleashed by the reactionary Shi'a forces the U.S. helped empower—an ethnic cleansing with tacit U.S. support. That slaughter, along with cash payments to the defeated Sunni fighters, is at the heart of the "successful" surge in
Obama's treatment of
And what of this new
? The Iraq has brought to power an alliance of reactionary, pro-U.S. Kurdish warlords with reactionary Shi'ite religious parties. U.S. 's military and police are dominated by sectarian death squads. Religious fundamentalism has been strengthened and the abuse and subjugation of women—including enforced veiling and legal discrimination -- has intensified and is actually worse than it was under Saddam Hussein. Meanwhile, Iraq is being gradually opened up to foreign exploitation– including its vast oil sector. And Iraq 's ethnic and religious faultlines have not been healed—and remain volatile and potentially explosive. Iraq
Whose Interests—and What "Way of Life"—Are Really Served by Obama's New Strategy?
The strategy Obama laid out at
West Point is not less violent or imperial, nor is it more truthful or humane than Bush's strategy.
The core of Obama's argument for why people should support an escalating and ongoing war in
"If I did not think that the security of the
"This is no idle danger, no hypothetical threat. In the last few months alone, we have apprehended extremists within our borders who were sent here from the border region of
Here's the truth. The system Barack Obama is leading cares nothing for human life—whether those living within its borders or those living outside. It has demonstrated this for the 200-plus years of its existence by its actions in every corner of the globe. Its workings have savaged millions upon millions of lives, whether through outright killing or condemning people to lives of exploitation and destitution. The rulers care about people's safety only to the degree that it impacts on their power, legitimacy, and grip on the population.
"Our security" and "way of life" is based on global exploitation and plunder in the interests of a relative handful of imperialists. Crumbs from this plunder are used to pacify and/or retain the loyalty of a large section of the "home" population. The privileges accorded to a large section of Americans are based on the parasitical exploitation of billions. And this parasitical exploitation, in turn, rests on highly repressive, and widely hated, political structures in oppressed or
Third World countries—like the Karzai regime in —imposed by the Afghanistan to enforce its strategic interests and meet the needs of global capital. U.S.
Our "security" and "way of life" also rests on the grinding exploitation of tens of millions of people within the U.S. itself, with millions of immigrants denied any rights whatsoever and declared outlaws and millions of others living in desperate circumstances, seeking jobs and a way to live and often consigned to a life of crime and punishment. This too is reinforced by both raw force carried out by the repressive institutions of the police, prisons and army—the instruments of dictatorship, to be scientific—and by the ideas promoted through the schools, media, religious institutions, etc. So Obama's talk of "we"—as if everyone living within the borders of the
This "we-have-to-protect-our-way-of-life" outlook is poison—and promoting this outlook among both the most oppressed and more enlightened sectors of society—is Obama's special role, and special talent, for the rulers. If this speech does nothing else, it must serve as a way for those who do know better to break those who should know better out of this outlook.
So people shouldn't join the imperialists in "threat assessments" to their system, much less rally to its defense. But even if you take this selfish and ultimately complicitous standard—the "safety of the American people"—as your own, Obama's strategy—which will greatly increase the violence brought to bear against the people of
—will further stoke hatred of the Afghanistan and support for Islamic fundamentalism. U.S.
Imperial Domination Different From All Other Imperial Domination? U.S.
Toward the end of his speech, summing things up, Obama said: "We do not seek to occupy other nations. We will not claim another nation's resources or target other peoples because their faith or ethnicity is different from ours." This is double-talk aimed at obscuring how the system operates. First of all, when it suits their needs and interests, the imperialists will massively occupy countries for years, even decades—as they're doing right now with 100,000 troops in
and perhaps even more in Iraq ! At the same time, modern empires have many other tools for shaping the destinies of countries and entire regions without direct occupations. Afghanistan
And though the U.S. doesn't try to "claim resources" due to differences in "faith and ethnicity"—it does seek to control key resources (and indeed whole economies!) to further its strategic contention with other rivals and to maintain the functioning of U.S. capitalism—no matter the faith or ethnicity of its victims. And imperialism does enforce national oppression—against oppressed peoples (what Obama refers to as "ethnic" groups) right within its borders, and overall by forcibly perpetuating the national oppression and subordination of most countries in the world to imperialism. The history of the U.S. empire—from its genocide against the native peoples, the use of Africa as a hunting ground for the slaves who built its wealth, the theft of huge sections of Mexico, and its numerous invasions of other countries, clearly illustrates this—and clearly contradicts Obama's assertion. And a key element of the entire "war on terror" has been to seize greater access to crucial energy resources: in
to further Afghanistan contention with U.S. in particular over oil and gas pipelines; in Russia to open up the country's vast oil resources to international capital. Iraq
Do We Need 9/11-Style "Unity" Again?
Obama ended his speech with a stark assessment of the difficulties confronting the empire, and a call for the kind of support the rulers had following 9/11:
"[W]e as a country cannot sustain our leadership nor navigate the momentous challenges of our time if we allow ourselves to be split asunder by the same rancor and cynicism and partisanship that has in recent times poisoned our national discourse. It's easy to forget that, when this war began, we were united, bound together by the fresh memory of a horrific attack and by the determination to defend our homeland and the values we hold dear. I refuse to accept the notion that we cannot summon that unity again."
Unity like we had after 9/11? If you recall, that was a time of a lynch-mob atmosphere of chauvinist hysteria, fear-mongering, and the suppression of any critical thinking about why the 9/11 attacks happened and what should be done about them, and any critical resistance to the crimes the U.S. empire was preparing before our eyes. Wars were launched on the basis of lies. Basic freedoms were severely truncated, and in some cases eliminated. Now, eight years later, after the horrors of what that "unity" and support for America brought to the world—over a million dead in Iraq, legalized torture, and the devastation of Afghanistan—why would anyone with a shred of concern for humanity want to repeat THAT chapter in U.S. history?
But that's precisely what Obama has called on people to do—to blindly get behind the empire as it violently forges ahead in
The Answer That Must Be Given
People need to do just the opposite. We have pointed to the fundamentally antagonistic interests, worldwide and within this country, concealed and obscured by talk of "we the people," and by the chauvinist notion that American lives are more valuable than those of other people. The imperialists are pursuing their interests, and we've had eight years to see where that all leads—whoever the President is. It is time and past time to see that these interests are directly opposed to those of humanity as a whole … and to take up and fight for those larger interests.
Obama spoke the truth when he said
If anything positive for humanity is going to come out of this "time of trial" it will happen because millions of people refuse to heed Obama's call and refuse to choose between supporting either imperialism or Islamic fundamentalism. It will happen—and it will only happen—if people instead can be led to break out of the entire framework set by this current clash. Humanity does need another way, in the interests of the people. This means revolution and it requires the broadest and most determined possible resistance to this criminal escalation.
With the whole world watching, Obama and the
rulers have been openly debating just how much force and violence they should bring to bear against the people of U.S. . Now the whole world is going to be watching what the people in the Afghanistan do when it's decided to escalate and continue this war of conquest and empire. Will they resist? Or will they passively go along? Will they shed their delusions about Obama—or will they face reality and judge him by what he's actually doing, not his false narratives, his empty promises, and his double-talk? U.S.
Soviet Union had actually been born through a revolution in 1917, and had embarked on building a socialist society and working toward a communist world. But, through a complex series of struggles, new bourgeois forces within the communist party there seized power and capitalism was restored in the Soviet Union by the mid-1950s. By the time we are referring to, it had become a capitalist-imperialist power and leader of its own bloc, which was clashing very sharply with the for global predominance during the 1960s, '70s and '80s. For more on this see Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage, A Manifesto from the Revolutionary Communist U.S. , February 2009, available online at revcom.us. [back] Party, USA
From Oil, Power & Empire:
Chapter 4: Double-Dealing Death in the Gulf, pp. 88, 89-90
The Soviet invasion, in turn, was motivated by a combination of
The Soviet invasion came in the wake of stepped up "competition for influence with the United States throughout the Middle East, Indian Ocean, Horn of Africa, Arabian Peninsula and Southwest Asia regions," as the former Reagan
The Empire Strikes Back
Intervention in the Iran-Iraq War was one facet of a multi-dimensioned and aggressive
In July 1979, some five months before the Soviet invasion, the
"We now have the opportunity of giving to the
Over the next decade, the
Chapter 1: "Go Massive, Sweep It All Up", pp. 19-21
One World, One Empire
Neither mystical links with al Qaeda, invisible weapons of mass destruction, reflexive posturing, electoral politicking, nor diverting attention from corporate scandals and a weak economy explained why the
"They have ambitions of essentially reshuffling the whole deck, reordering the whole situation—beginning with the strategic areas of Central and South Asia and the Middle East that are more immediately involved now—but, even beyond that, on a world scale," Bob Avakian of the Revolutionary Communist Party USA wrote shortly after Sept. 11. "They've set themselves a very far-reaching agenda with gigantic implications."
This momentous shift in
Taking off from the hegemonic vision developed by Reagan and Bush I officials during the 1990s, the
What does this really mean? The document's mantra is creating "a balance of power that favors freedom." Like terrorism, "freedom" hasn't been defined by the Bush regime, but the substance of the
The new National Security Strategy claims that the
A core thesis, which has been a central theme in neo-conservative theorizing for over a decade, is preventing the rise of rival powers which could challenge the
To achieve this staggering goal, the
Marine General Peter Pace, the Joint Chiefs vice chairman, has stated that "the scope for potential anti-terrorist action included—at a minimum—Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Libya, Georgia, Colombia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and North Korea." Pace knew of what he spoke:The New York Times reported that by January 2003, the Pentagon had drafted a "National Military Strategic Plan for the War on Terrorism" which called for 20 to 30 years of war on a variety of states and anti-U.S. groups.
Comment: I thought this was marvelously done. I had been hoping to dissect his speech
but the above is an excellent job. Well done Brother Larry!
Combat Amerikan Fascist Insanity! Venceremos Unidos!
Education for Liberation!