Ray O. Light
Special Edition #8
To Stop The Bush-led Imperialist War At Home and Abroad
1. "The Other Superpower"?!
Millions of demonstrators took to the streets in over 600 cities in about one hundred countries on February 15, 2003. This tremendous popular outpouring was the culmination of the spontaneous revulsion of the masses of the world’s peoples at the naked and brutal aggression of US imperialism as it implemented its new Nazi-like "pre-emptive war" doctrine in Afghanistan and then in Iraq. The massive protests also reflected the mass influence of the other imperialist powers (including some European countries led by Social Democratic governments) as they tried (post Afghanistan) to resist the increasingly hegemonic aspirations of the US Empire, focused on the seizure of Iraq and US monopoly control of the world’s oil supply. Perhaps a billion or more of the six billion people on earth decisively changed their allegiance from general support for the monopoly capitalist and imperialist system and for US imperialism, in particular, to one of opposition to and resistance to imperialism, headed by US imperialism. This was a tremendously positive development.
In the flush of apparent success of the global anti-war movement, prior to the US-British imperialist launching of their open war of occupation in Iraq, the expression "the other superpower" referring to this movement, was initially promoted by New York Times editors and other bourgeois journalists. This view immodestly gained currency among the Workers World Party-led ANSWER Coalition, the Nation magazine forces, and other anti-war organizations and institutions dominated by social democrats, petty bourgeois pacifists, Trotskyites and anarchists, both in the USA and around the world.
The bloom of success was short-lived, however. For one thing, these largely spontaneous mass demonstrations were unable to prevent Bush and US imperialism from launching their unprovoked military invasion of Iraq. In addition, given the long-time connections between the Saddam Hussein Regime and the US imperialist state, CIA, etc. and its general reactionary character, popular Iraqi resistance to this brutal imperialist invasion was undermined from within and without the regime, leading to a surprisingly quick conquest of Iraq by US imperialism.
2. "Bush, The Conqueror"
On May 1st, 2003, George W. Bush declared victory. He declared that the war in Iraq was over and that he had won. In addition, governments in countries such as Germany, France, Russia, and China, which had most stubbornly protested the criminal invasion of Iraq by US imperialism, quickly ratified Bush’s victory in their haste to obtain some of the lucrative post war contracts being dispensed by Bechtel Corporation and Halliburton on behalf of the Bush-Cheney Regime. Just six weeks after the end of the war with Iraq, under US dictation, the United Nations Security Council, including France and Russia, voted 14 in favor and none opposed (with Syria, the one Arab member "not voting") to lift sanctions on Iraq. Thus, the UN Security Council allowed the resumption of Iraqi oil exports (now that US imperialism will get the profits) and gave their blessings to the United States military occupation of Iraq!
Meanwhile, in almost the same breath in which he declared victory over Iraq, Bush threatened to wage war on Syria if this sovereign state continued to support Hezbollah’s attacks on the Israeli regime. The Syrian government promptly obeyed Bush’s commandment to cease its aid. The Bush regime had previously convinced Yasir Arafat to replace himself as the chief spokesman of the Palestinian "Authority" with someone else that Bush (and the Israeli settler government) found acceptable (Mahmoud Abbas). Then the Bush government began pushing a "roadmap" for a Palestinian-Israeli "peace." And this roadmap was backed by the UNO, the EU, and Russia and endorsed by Arafat and Abbas as well as Sharon!! (Palestinian and Arab pursuit of this path would perpetuate the existence and domination of the Israeli settler state on the land of Palestine!) Finally, Bush threatened "regime change" in Iran in order to quell any potential uprisings among the Shiite majority population of Iraq. Thus, in the Middle East, Bush and United States imperialism appeared to hold a seemingly unassailable hegemonic position.
At that point, within the USA, the natural ebb in the anti-war movement which inevitably accompanied the quick and "total" US imperialist conquest of Iraq was exacerbated by the opportunist, anarchist and Trotskyite leadership of the movement with its illusory "other superpower" concept of "stopping the war in Iraq before it starts". To its credit, Workers World/ANSWER, which had helped promote this idea, nevertheless has continued to call for mass, public demonstrations in the face of the general social-democratic and anarchist retreat. Meanwhile, many of the social democrats, social-chauvinists, Trotskyites, liberals, and other opportunist social props of the imperialist system (who had only recently jumped on board the anti-war bandwagon) buried their heads in the sand. Few of these forces continued to call for and participate in anti-war activities; most ceased to function at all.*
disperse NYCLAW and its anti-imperialist allies throughout the US labor movement, their intrigues resulted in the creation of US Labor Against the War (USLAW), a compromise between the anti-imperialist forces within the US labor movement who had courageously opposed Bush’s War from Afghanistan onward and the newly emerged, well-connected, United for Peace forces, many of whom had
* FOOTNOTE: Our January 2003 document, entitled "In Defense of the U.S. Movement Against Imperialist War", had exposed these "new arrivals" to the anti-war movement, as follows: "… following the tremendous success of the anti-war mobilization on October 26th it seems that US imperialism called on its main social props and their social democratic, social pacifist, and social chauvinist supporters within the labor, environmental, church, civil rights, pacifist, women’s and other liberal and radical organizations to get active in the anti-war movement, so as to try to keep it from developing a more consistent anti-imperialist line of policy and action. Almost overnight, a United for Peace organization appeared on the national stage, backed by a suitably named ‘Win Without War’ pro-imperialist coalition, ready to challenge Workers World Party/ANSWER coalition and also the Revolutionary Communist Party/Not In Our Name coalition for leadership of the anti-war movement." We continued, "Within the labor movement key United for Peace forces are making a concerted effort to divide, discredit, and dismantle the extremely significant New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW)". While the United for Peace forces were unable to
supported the AFL-CIO bureaucracy and George W. Bush in Afghanistan and wished only to oppose the Iraqi invasion threat or for US imperialism to obtain UN blessing for its invasion of Iraq. Unfortunately, it was these latter "well-connected" opportunist forces who became the spokesmen for USLAW.
3. The "Economism" of U.S. Labor Against the War
One of the most important initiatives of opportunist forces in the USA in the period since Bush’s "victory" declaration has been the highly touted "Profile of U.S. Corporations Awarded Contracts in U.S./British-Occupied Iraq" prepared by U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW). While the documentation provided by USLAW regarding the respective US corporate stakes in postwar reconstruction of Iraq is valuable, these classic social democrats framed their contribution on the most shameful social-chauvinist and "economist" foundation. Taking their cue from President Bush who had declared his victory on May 1st, USLAW issued its document about a month later basing itself on the assumption that "Despite our best efforts and those of millions of trade unionists around the globe, the war on Iraq is now an accomplished fact". In other words, according to USLAW, we cannot defeat US imperialism militarily, so we had better make the best of a bad situation.
These imperialist-stooge forces, along with the Bushites, seriously underestimated the will and the determination of the Iraqi people! For, since that time, more US occupation troops have already died than were killed during the "official" war. And the prospects are for growing numbers of US military casualties as time goes on. Already there is a widening popular war being waged by the Sunni Muslim masses in central Iraq with former Baathist political activists forming new political organizations to participate in this liberation movement. Meanwhile, significant forces among the Shiite Muslim majority are gathering to wage their own struggle against the US military government, as it is being weakened by the Sunnis. The war of national liberation of the Iraqi people is deepening!
The Palestinian people are also demonstrating their unwillingness to remain imprisoned and enslaved by US imperialism and Israeli Zionism. Despite the dictates of Bush, the conqueror of Iraq, the terrorist acts of the Sharon government, and the treachery of the Arafat-Abbas leadership, the struggle for the liberation of Palestine also continues! So too the national liberation war in Afghanistan continues. Even Karzai, the US puppet in Kabul, admits that no "nation-building" has begun there; and US and other imperialist troops continue to die there! Likewise, the peoples of the Philippines and of Colombia, who have been waging powerful national liberation movements for independence and socialism for several decades against US imperialism, have also intensified their struggles in the face of the current US interventionist "war(s) on terrorism". In the Philippines, revolt has recently emerged within the puppet armed forces itself; while, in Colombia, the two largest liberation front organizations have recently developed close coordination of their military forces.
Nevertheless, in spite of (or because of!) the strategic overextension of the US imperialist military, USLAW’s leadership insists on its erroneous observation that US
imperialism is unbeatable. It is on this opportunist basis that it has drawn the reformist, non-confrontational conclusion that, "We in the US must confront and defeat the militarization of our foreign and domestic policies and the turn toward a permanent war economy." (Our emphasis)
Eighty-seven years ago, Lenin observed that "The essence of the matter is that Kautsky detaches the politics of imperialism from its economics, speaks of annexations as being a policy ‘preferred’ by finance capital. It follows, then, that monopolies in economics are compatible with non-monopolistic, non-violent, non-annexationist methods in politics. It follows, then, that the territorial division of the world, which was completed precisely during the epoch of finance capital, and which constitutes the basis of the present peculiar forms of rivalry between the biggest capitalist states, is compatible with a non-imperialist policy. The result is a slurring-over and a blunting of the most profound contradictions of the latest stage of capitalism, instead of an exposure of their depth; the result is bourgeois reformism instead of Marxism." (Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism, Chapter VII, pp. 110, 111)
Back in March 2002, we concluded our document entitled, "Social Props of Bush’s Terrorist War" with the following admonition: "Finally, it is important that US proletarian revolutionaries and anti-imperialists who participate in the march and rally, make sure that the key international question of Bush’s global terrorist war is the focal point of our political demands, our political education, our message to the masses of the people both inside and outside the demonstration. Any effort to bury this cutting edge question under a ‘barrage of details’ about domestic economic injustice and corruption, to make the domestic economic question primary, will be an effort to cut the US working class and the Afro-American people off from our best friends, the rest of the international working class and the oppressed peoples of the world." (pp. 7&8)
In essence, the social democrats of USLAW are today attempting to cut off the Iraqi working class from the rest of the international working class and from the Iraqi masses in their just struggle against Bush’s global terrorist war by reducing the struggle of the Iraqi working class to a narrow, "economic" struggle with individual US companies in Iraq.
USLAW provides extremely useful detailed information about the contracts which the US government has signed with Halliburton and its subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR), with Bechtel Group Inc., MCI WorldCom, and Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) and about fifteen other big US corporations. USLAW’s documentation includes each company’s labor relations, their contracts in Iraq, their connections to the Bush Administration, political contributions to the Democratic and Republican Parties, Executive Compensation and record on "social responsibility".
To the proletarian revolutionary, the sum total of all this information provides an overwhelming indictment of the US military occupation of Iraq and of the twenty-first century corporate "booty" that is being seized by this modern-day Empire. Along with the overt seizure of the Iraqi oil fields, it establishes much of the political-economic stake of US imperialism in the US military conquest of Iraq. It provides a material basis for the stake of the Iraqi working class in leading the Iraqi peasantry, urban poor, intelligentsia and virtually all the Iraqi people in waging an all-out war for state power, a national democratic revolutionary war of independence against US imperialism and its Iraqi comprador puppets, leading (under proletarian leadership) to socialism.
But USLAW wants the Iraqi working class to use this information on the most narrow trade union basis, company by company. In the first sentence of its introduction to the document USLAW demagogically denounces the "unlawful and immoral US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq" and correctly points to this as the basis for the "US government…now awarding billions of dollars in contracts to US corporations…for the ‘reconstruction’ of that country." USLAW then immediately shifts its emphasis to these (individual) companies, taking the heat off of the US government and its military occupation!!
In a most sinister fashion, USLAW addresses its document to "the Workers of Iraq and the International Labor Movement", the very force which, when organized and led by a Leninist vanguard party, in Iraq and internationally, is capable of leading the Iraqi masses (and the masses of humanity) to victory over imperialism, headed by US imperialism! These opportunists, such as Gene Bruskin and Bob Muehlencamp, are closely allied with the chief social prop of US imperialism among the US working class, John Sweeney and the AFL-CIO national leadership. In the name of international workers solidarity, these social chauvinists are trying to divert the most advanced class of Iraqi society away from leading the national liberation struggle for independence and state power against US-led imperialism and onto the path of alliance with Sweeney et al., "the labor lieutenants of the capitalist class" within US society linked with US imperialism itself!** ________________________________________________________________________
** FOOTNOTE: USLAW wants these key proletarian forces to listen to it because USLAW "defied our government and took a public stand in opposition to the war in Iraq." In reality, USLAW, a formation that emerged late in the process of the gathering anti-war motion in the USA, was formed to head off, decapitate, and replace New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW) at the head of the developing anti-war forces within the US labor movement.
Indeed, the military quagmire which US imperialism faces in Iraq and its strategic overreach from Afghanistan to Colombia to the Philippines has compelled George W. Bush to largely adopt the USLAW position (echoed by The Nation editorialists) outlined in "Profile of U.S. Corporations Awarded Contracts in US/British-Occupied Iraq". Namely, George W. Bush, "the Lone Ranger", is now seeking United Nations involvement in "postwar" Iraq!
4. The War At Home
USLAW does not "discriminate," however. By making the "Profile of U.S. Corporations Awarded Contracts in U.S./British-Occupied Iraq" its centerpiece of work in the aftermath of Bush’s victory in Iraq, USLAW uses the "barrage of details" about the US
corporations with government contracts in Iraq to bury the cutting edge questions facing the working class and oppressed nationalities at home, namely, Bush’s Unending War both at home as well as abroad. By separating the domestic US political scandals such as Bush’s "election" in 2000 from the war contracts in Iraq, by separating immigrant bashing from union smashing, by separating California and Northeast blackouts by the Enron and energy company pirates from their violent seizure of the oil fields of Iraq, the social democratic and revisionist "left" leadership of USLAW promotes reform at the expense of revolution.
In the first place, USLAW buries the fact that there is a living interconnection between Bush’s war at home and his war abroad.
(Quoted and cited by V.I. Lenin in Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism)
"I was in the East End of London yesterday and attended a meeting of the unemployed. I listened to the wild speeches, which were just a cry for ‘bread,’ ‘bread,’ ‘bread,’ and on my way home I pondered over the scene and I became more than ever convinced of the importance of imperialism…. My cherished idea is a solution for the social problem, i.e., in order to save the 40,000,000 inhabitants of United Kingdom from a bloody civil war, we colonial statesmen must acquire new lands to settle the surplus population, to provide new markets for the goods produced by them in the factories and mines. The Empire, as I have always said, is a bread and butter question. If you want to avoid civil war, you must become imperialists." This is what Cecil Rhodes, millionaire, king of finance, the man who was mainly responsible for the Boer War, said in 1895.
The "civil war" that Cecil Rhodes was trying to avoid just over one hundred years ago was the war between the British working class and its capitalist class. As we entered the new millennium, the economic system of monopoly capitalism and imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism, had been with us now for more than a century. The world capitalist economic crisis, the crisis of "over-production" from the system’s point of view or "underconsumption" from the standpoint of the international working class and oppressed peoples, had been acute, leading to massive unemployment almost everywhere in the world outside the USA. This economic crisis finally began to hit home here at the beginning of 2001, right when George W. Bush was sworn in as the new (unelected) President of the USA. On the eve of 9-11, with massive lay-offs and an illegitimate presidency, George W’s approval rating was already at a dangerously low 37%!
After listing some of the most significant attacks of US imperialism on the workers and oppressed peoples within the United States carried out behind the smokescreen of the Bush "War Against Terrorism" in November 2001 we observed, "All these things, from the FTAA fast track to the plunder of the Social Security fund to the dampening of strike and union organizing activity, represent the desperate effort of US imperialism to use the political crisis as a vehicle for attempting to escape the economic crisis that over the past year had washed onto the shores of the USA from the rest of the world by placing its burden squarely on the shoulders of the working class and oppressed peoples." (Bush’s Global Terrorist War and the September 11th Events)
Within the USA today, Bush’s War Against the US working class and oppressed nationalities continues to grow. In May 2003 the US unemployment rate hit a 9-year high. Those workers still employed are in many cases working longer hours. In this setting the Bush Regime is formulating new federal rules to change the Fair Labor Standards Act enacted in 1938 requiring employers to pay one and one-half times a worker’s pay for each hour worked in a week more than forty. No doubt Bush and his corporate pals are working toward elimination of overtime pay and the forty-hour work- week over the long run.
With diversion of pension plans into stock market swindle 401K programs, last year over 4.5 million retirees over 60 years old returned to work – up 50% from the year before! US government plunder of Social Security to help pay for Bush’s unending war threatens to eliminate this basic benefit for future retirees. Within the past two years 75 million people (almost 30% of the US population) have had no health insurance coverage for a substantial period. With the economic slowdown, the tax coffers at the federal, state and local levels have been seriously depleted leading to accelerating erosion of public school education, and other social benefits. Meanwhile, the wealthiest citizens of the USA are getting huge cuts in their capital gains and dividends taxes which will result in $350 billion dollars less money flowing from them into government coffers. Who will make up this loss? The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, as Karl Marx so profoundly observed.
In November 2002, the US Congress, with the Democrats controlling the Senate and the Republicans controlling the House, enacted the Homeland Security Act, at the insistence of the Bush Administration. With his establishment of the Homeland Security Department and placement of 170,000 (including many unionized) civil service government workers under the dictatorship of Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge, George W. Bush, in the name of national security and labor flexibility, stripped these workers of all collective bargaining rights on the job. Another 700,000 workers are currently threatened with the same fate. This blow to the union movement weakens the general defense of the working class and the oppressed national minorities in their fight back efforts. Such job categories as airport baggage screeners became exclusively for US citizens, with 30,000 mainly national minority and immigrant workers fired and many former screeners deported, creating real animosity and hardship among workers. In this period the Bush Regime took an unusually aggressive stand against affirmative action plans aimed at uplifting the Afro-American people, a further attempt to fan the flames of chauvinism and division among workers of different backgrounds.
In 2002, Homeland Security Chief Ridge, threatened the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) when they were in the midst of negotiations with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), saying that he would militarize the port, if they struck. Then the Bush Regime invoked the Taft-Hartley Act which was combined with the PMA’s lockout of the ILWU in an effort to intimidate the ILWU and its membership. The ILWU has been the most progressive and most internationalist of US unions throughout the entire post World War Two period. They refused to unload military ships during the Vietnam War. The ILWU struck in support of the anti-WTO protesters in Seattle in 1999.
While most of the companies in the PMA wanted to settle with the ILWU, and they ultimately did settle, Stevedoring Services of America (SSA), the largest stevedoring company in the USA and one of the world’s largest, provided the main roadblock to settlement. They got their pay-off this year when SSA was the first company to be awarded an USAID contract for rebuilding Iraq – to manage and repair Iraqi ports, including the country’s major deep-water port in Umm Qasr – despite the fact that it had never before worked in a war zone. In June the US/British military administration at the Port transferred control of the port to SSA. This contract gives SSA a foot in the door in this region with so much oil wealth. This is one of many instances where the war of the monopoly capitalists against the working class at home is directly connected with the imperialist war against the oppressed peoples abroad.
Finally, on the basis of the first USA Patriot Act, passed by Congress at a time of Bush-inspired mass hysteria, more than a thousand Muslim and South Asian men were rounded up in the aftermath of September 11th and held for months in violation of previous US law. Since then thousands more were ordered to report to the Immigration Service and were then deported en masse. The USA Patriot Act and its sequel represent a fundamental alteration of the bourgeois democratic rule that has operated domestically at least since the McCarthy Era. Even bourgeois media refer to these post 9-11 laws as totalitarian powers and witch hunting. These laws provide for secret arrest and imprisonment without charges, warrantless searches, wholesale invasion of privacy, increased police surveillance and vastly strengthened police powers over the citizenry. As we pointed out in November 2001, "the US working class and oppressed nationalities are facing a rapid and intense militarization and fascisization of US society." (Emphasis in original, "Bush’s Global Terrorist War and the September 11th Events")
The domestic war waged by the Bush Regime against the US population has been vital to the efforts of these thieves and cutthroats to keep such massive crimes as the multibillion dollar theft by Enron of California state energy funds from leading to the impeachment of President Bush, Vice President Cheney et al. Enron had been the biggest supporter of Bush’s campaign for President of the USA. Prior to September 11th V.P. Cheney refused to turn over to Congressional Committees the records of his discussions with Enron executives regarding the new Bush Administration Energy Policy. As a result of his refusal, Cheney became the first top government leader ever charged with contempt of Congress by the General Accounting Office!
Bush’s War at Home has allowed corporate criminals such as Vice President Dick Cheney to move from the CEO position at Halliburton, the second largest provider of oil and gas pipeline services in the world, where they agreed to pay $4 billion in cash and stock to settle more than 300,000 asbestos-related personal injury lawsuits to the top of the US government where he has been a drum major of death for the people of Afghanistan and now Iraq.
Even more remarkable is the fact that while Cheney was Halliburton’s CEO two Halliburton subsidiaries sold $73 million worth of oil equipment and services to the Saddam Hussein Regime in Iraq!! Moreover, in violation of a 1995 Clinton Executive Order banning US trade and investment in Iran and in violation of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act passed by Congress providing sanctions to foreign companies involved in Iran’s oil industry, Halliburton provided oil equipment to Iran through its foreign subsidiaries with Cheney defending the company’s actions. Even now, through this means, Halliburton continues to do business with Iran, one of Bush and Cheney’s key members of the "Axis of Evil"!!! Despite similar US sanctions against doing business with Libya, another so-called "rogue state", since the US embargo against Libya was implemented in 1986, Halliburton has continued to the present day to perform work there, through its British office. In 1995 Halliburton was fined $3.8 million for re-exporting US goods through a foreign subsidiary to Libya in violation of US sanctions.
Yet it is the Bush-Cheney Regime that has sent the sons and daughters of the US working class to kill and be killed by citizens of these same countries in the name of national security!! The same "energy pirates" responsible for the California energy crisis of 2000-2001 and the recent blackout across much of the Northeast and Midwest in the USA (and in Canada) and in fact for the US government’s energy policy (Enron, etc.) were the biggest backers of the Bush campaign in 2000. Key to the "(s)election" of George W. Bush in 2000 was the elimination of thousands of Black voters ineligible (or ruled ineligible) in Florida and elsewhere because of felony drug convictions. The opening round of Bush’s global war of terror was against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan which had just carried out a successful campaign to eradicate a majority of the world’s poppy production. Even before that war was declared over, as US and coalition troops moved into areas vacated by the retreating Taliban, poppy production was immediately resumed, thus enabling the resumption of this key component in the international drug trade and ensuring that the record U.S. prison population would not be shrinking as the next US Presidential Election looms on the horizon.
Is this not the very personification of a "rogue regime"? "Regime change" at home is on the order of the day. Clearly, such a regime and the system that has generated it, cannot be replaced by "the customary methods of the working class---trade unions and co-operatives, parliamentary parties and the parliamentary struggle" as Stalin described it.
Yet, in the face of Bush’s open declaration of WAR against the working class and oppressed nationalities within the US multi-national state, USLAW has called anti-war labor activists to a "National Labor Assembly for Peace" scheduled for October 25 in Chicago. When NYCLAW leaders and others raised moving the venue for the USLAW peace assembly to Washington DC so that those in the assembly could also participate in the National Mass March on Washington to "End the occupation of Iraq" and "Bring the troops home now", the USLAW leadership refused!!
The vulgar reformism and social pacifism of these trade union bureaucrats is thoroughly exposed by the final paragraph of their call to the National Assembly for Peace: "We seek a US foreign policy that promotes global economic and social justice, not the use of military force. We want our government to meet human needs, not cater to corporate greed. [We want to] … strengthen international institutions so that conflicts between nations can be resolved through diplomacy rather than war."
5. Proletarian Revolutionary Organization Is Key
The upcoming October 25th demonstrations are worthy of our participation and mobilization. Indeed, as Bush’s War at Home against the US workers and oppressed nationalities continues to deepen, a small but extremely important movement of organized parents and loved ones of US military troops stationed in Iraq, has begun to take shape in opposition to Bush’s military occupation of Iraq and the Middle East. And within the US military itself, there is growing discontent, especially among the reservists whose tours of duty keep being extended, as the Iraqi national liberation movement grows and develops.
As momentum once again is beginning to replace demoralization among the millions of new anti-war activists in the USA, including within the US military itself, it is vital that these youth, along with the working class and oppressed nationality youth hit by unemployment, underemployment, and low-wage dead end jobs, be exposed to and help develop a scientific socialist view of what is actually going on in the world.
In his immortal work, Foundations of Leninism, summing up Lenin’s teachings on the nature of revolutionary struggle in the epoch of imperialism and the unfolding proletarian revolution, Stalin described the three "most important" contradictions, as follows: "The first contradiction is between labor and capital. Imperialism is the omnipotence of the monopolist trusts and syndicates, of the banks and the financial oligarchy, in the industrial countries. In the fight against this omnipotence the customary methods of the working class… have proved to be totally inadequate." "The second contradiction is the contradiction among the various financial groups and imperialist powers in their struggle for sources of raw materials, for foreign territory." "The third contradiction is the contradiction between the handful of ruling, ‘civilized’ nations and the hundreds of millions of the colonial and dependent peoples of the world. Imperialism is the most barefaced exploitation and the most inhuman oppression of hundreds of millions of people inhabiting vast colonies and dependent countries."
USLAW asserts that "nothing could be more important to the welfare of Iraqi workers and their families than having the right to organize, bargain collectively and, if necessary, strike to defend themselves and advance their interests against these corporations". Yet the documentation provided by USLAW establishes that it is national independence from imperialism, headed by US imperialism that is key to the welfare of the Iraqi working class at this time! USLAW acts is if the Iraqi labor movement is functioning in an imperialist oppressor country during a period of "normalcy", rather than representing the working class of an oppressed nation that has just been militarily occupied and with occupation companies obtaining contracts from the military dictatorship authority in that country!!!
In Iraq today, "nothing could be more important" than the establishment of a strong national liberation movement against US-led imperialism which is led by the Iraqi working class through its revolutionary party, a genuine Leninist Party, a party linked to the rest of the international working class and to the national liberation movements of the oppressed peoples of Arabia, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Likewise, in the USA today, "nothing could be more important" than the establishment of a strong anti-imperialist movement composed of anti-war, anti-globalization, and anti-fascist elements, with the cutting edge demand to "Bring the US Troops Home Now!" as its key link to the rest of the international working class and the oppressed peoples. Here, too, such a movement can only be consistently and effectively led by the US working class, through its revolutionary party, a genuine Leninist Party, a party linked to the rest of the international working class and to the national liberation movements of the oppressed peoples of Arabia, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Within the USA, genuine international working class solidarity by the US working class with the Iraqi working class involves fighting for an end to US military occupation of Iraq by any means necessary, including support for the Iraqi national liberation struggle. It involves working for the overthrow of the Bush Regime and the global system of imperialist exploitation and plunder. Indeed, working people in the USA today face Bush’s demand for an additional $87 billion "for Iraq", rising unemployment (now the highest in a decade) and growing poverty here in the USA. We face the healthcare and pension crises, the threatened elimination of overtime pay, massive tax cuts for the wealthy, the increasingly repressive domestic climate under the USA Patriot Act, currently directed so sharply against immigrant workers. In other words, as Stalin described the contradiction between labor and capital---"Either place yourself at the mercy of capital, eke out a wretched existence as of old and sink lower and lower, or adopt a new weapon---this is the alternative imperialism puts before the vast masses of the proletariat. Imperialism brings the working class to revolution." (Foundations of Leninism, p.5)
Contrary to opportunist forces such as the USLAW "leaders", Leninists understand that:
Stop Bush’s Terrorist War on Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia, Palestine and the Philippines!
Bring the US Troops Home Now!
Stop Bush’s War On Working People at Home and Abroad!
WORKERS OF THE WORLD AND OPPRESSED PEOPLES UNITE!
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