From nobody Sat Feb 1 17:18:19 2003
From: (The Militant)
Newsgroups: soc.culture.african
Subject: Imperialism drives to war
Date: 24 Jan 2003 02:55:20 GMT
Organization: Isidora Hunt
Distribution: world
Message-ID: <b0q9uo$ruv8k$>

Imperialism drives to war

By Hans Schmidt, The Militant, [January 2003]

White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said January 13 that the U.S. president saw “no point” in using diplomacy to resolve the conflict with Iraq. Later he revised his comment, saying the White House “was not optimistic” about a so-called diplomatic solution. In fact, Washington's decision to launch an invasion of Iraq was made some time ago. The accelerating concentration of troops and military equipment in the Middle East brings that fact sharply into relief. The imperialist “arms inspectors” are not preventing a war. In fact, they are giving political cover to Washington and other imperialist powers to unleash an assault on the people of Iraq.

This is not Bush's war—it's U.S. imperialism's war. The debates over the past months between Democrats and Republicans reveal no fundamental difference over this course, only tactical disputes over how to conduct imperialist war policy and convince working people to accept it. The Democrats are doing their part by criticizing the Bush administration for “intelligence failures” in preventing a “terrorist” attack—an argument for further widening the powers of the political police to carry out secret detentions and trials, spy on and disrupt political organizations, and attack union rights.

The drive to war today is an acceleration of the U.S. rulers' political course over the previous years. Washington's preparations to invade Iraq, which has the world's second-largest oil reserves, are a step toward seeking greater control over Mideast resources. They are driven to compete with their imperialist rivals from London to Berlin to Paris, to Tokyo—each of which is maneuvering to defend its own class interests in the region.

What is shaping up is a series of imperialist wars, as the ruling billionaires try to salvage their increasingly depression-ridden system. At stake is not only Mideast oil but the world's markets and resources. Other major targets of Washington's increased threats and aggressive actions are north Korea and Iran.

In driving to reverse the decline of their profit rates, the U.S. employers are also waging a war on workers and farmers at home. The recent government order banning airport screeners from organizing a union underlines this. The roundups of immigrants by la migra, probes toward establishing a national ID card, and the increasing militarization of U.S. airports and other facilities are further attacks on the ability of working people to organize in defense of their interests, as the bosses step up their assault on wages, working conditions, retirement pensions, and health care.

To tie the hands of working people, the employers promote the fiction of “our American interests.” But the capitalist class and working people in this country have completely opposing interests. Any solution that promotes an America First viewpoint, whether protectionist measures to defend “American jobs” or even “money for jobs at home, not war,” reinforces that trap. Working people need to join together across national boundaries in struggles for our common interests.

Although it presents itself as all-powerful, U.S. imperialism is driving to war out of the growing weaknesses and disequilibrium of its system. The future is not a Pax Americana but a world of sharpening turmoil, wars, and rebellions. The unbreakable struggle of the Palestinian people for their homeland, the refusal of the Korean people to get on their knees before Washington, and the determination of Cuban workers and farmers in defending their revolution against Washington's aggression for 44 years are all obstacles to imperialism's aims. So is the resistance by workers and farmers in the United States today.

The brutal logic of capitalism cannot be prevented. It can only be ended by working people overturning capitalist rule, taking political power, and carrying out a socialist revolution as working people did in Russia in October 1917 and the early years of soviet power, and as they have done in revolutionary Cuba since 1959. Through the struggles of today and out of the class battles of coming years, working people will be able to forge a movement capable of taking on the ruling rich and winning.