Date: Wed, 4 Mar 98 11:32:50 CST
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Brian Hauk)
Subject: Attacks On Iraq Prepare For War Against Workers State In Russia
Organization: InfoMatch Internet—Vancouver BC Article: 29338
There is the growing danger posed by rogue states with dangerous
weapons. There are still questions about the future of Russia,
declared Secretary of State Madeleine Albright February 24, addressing
the Senate Foreign relations committee on the expansion of NATO.
Her statement highlights the reality that Washington’s war moves in the Arab-Persian Gulf are not simply a drive to bring the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq to its knees. Along with the U.S.-led occupation of Bosnia and Washington’s drive to expand the NATO military alliance eastward, they are a step by the U.S. rulers to put themselves in a position to directly confront the workers states, particularly in Russia, and attempt to restore capitalist rule there through military force.
The world political resolution adopted by the Socialist Workers Party
convention in June 1990 explained that Washington had lost the
War. This was the term used to describe the strategic military
course forced upon U.S. imperialism and its allies in the face of the
limitations imposed by the international balance of class forces
following World War II. Washington was immediately blocked from
pursuing its goal of turning the U.S. military machine to the task of
restoring capitalism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, as well
as stemming the Chinese revolution, by the refusal of the GIs in 1945
to go back to war. U.S. imperialism was also pushed back by the
Korean people in its attempt to overturn the Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea in the early 1950s. By the latter half of that
decade, the Soviet Union’s development of nuclear weapons
convinced the imperialists that the risks of massive destruction not
only of capitalist Europe but also the United States were too great to
consider a direct assault against the Soviet and Eastern European
The imperialists viewed the Cold War as an unavoidable interlude,
during which they hoped the workers states would become sufficiently
weakened by Stalinist demoralization of the working class to make
possible their destruction. But despite all the horrors meted out to
working people in the name of
socialism by the former Stalinist
regimes, workers were not so badly defeated by the bureaucratic castes
in these countries that they have simply been ready to acquiesce to,
let alone internalize, all the culture, values, and attitudes that are
necessary for the expanation of capitalist relations.
The crumbling of the Warsaw Pact military alliance under these
conditions sharply accelerates the disintegration of the reactionary
NATO military alliance, which was already under growing strains from
intensifying interimperialist competition and shifting alignments
among the rival capitalist nations, the 1990 resolution said. But
the U.S. rulers
will continue to use their overall nuclear and
conventional military dominance to exercise political power within the
imperialist system greater than their economic might would otherwise
The Opening Guns of World War III, based on talks
by SWP national secretary Jack Barnes immediately following the
U.S.-led slaughter in Iraq in 1991, explained that the Gulf War was
the first war since the close of World War II that grew primarily
out of the intensified competition and accelerating instability of the
crises-ridden old imperialist world order. It exacerbated all
social and political conflicts, and guaranteed Washington would never
again be able to force together the same kind of
advance the aims of U.S. capital. Washington’s imperialist
rivals, especially in Paris, Bonn, and Tokyo, became more determined
to not be put in the position of having to support a war that will
benefit their U.S. rival at their expense.
Since 1991, the U.S. rulers have continued the course of using their military superiority to press an advantage against their rivals, while getting into position to launch an attack on the workers states. The clearest example is in Yugoslavia.
As the Stalinist apparatus that had dominated Yugoslavia began to
disintegrate at the start of the 1990s, members of the petty-bourgeois
layer that ruled that country organized along nationalist lines,
scrambled to grab territory and resources for themselves to maintain
or augment their privileged way of life. Bonn, Paris, and other
imperialist governments in Europe gave support to different warring
parties, fueling the slaughter. Washington adopted a
bleed attitude for a while, gradually bringing to bear arms
shipments and sporadic air power to increase their leverage in the
conflict and block the aims of their European rivals.
After undermining each attempt by its capitalist rivals to impose a
resolution in their interests under the aegis of the European Union or
United Nations, the Clinton administration stepped in to impose a
peace accord signed on a U.S. military base in Dayton, Ohio,
at the end of 1995. That accord—bearing the name of a Midwestern
U.S. city—spelled out the partition of the Yugoslav republic of
Bosnia and its occupation by tens of thousands of NATO troops, with
Washington in the dominant role—the first imperialist attempt to
use direct military force to crush working-class resistance in one of
the workers states in Europe and push through the restoration of
capitalism. Washington and its NATO allies/rivals have still not
achieved this aim, despite years of war and two years of direct
occupation of Yugoslavia. Last December, Clinton announced that
U.S. troops would stay in Bosnia indefinitely. In recent months they
have stepped up military operations in the name of capturing
The imperialist intervention in Bosnia served as a springboard for
Washington’s drive to expand NATO eastward, repositioning
U.S. troops and possibly nuclear weapons up to the border of the
former Soviet Union.
The bottom line is that Poland, Hungary, and
the Czech Republic are already behaving as loyal allies, Albright
told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, arguing for approval of
the treaty bringing these regimes into NATO. In addition to joining
Washington’s war plans in the Gulf, she said,
When we asked
them to put their soldiers in harm’s way in Bosnia they did not
hesitate. When we asked Hungary to open its bases to American troops,
so they could deploy safely to Bosnia, it did not hesitate.
NATO is a military alliance, not a social club, Albright added.
Russian officials correctly see this as directly aimed against
Moscow. Last May Boris Yeltsin, in response to Washington’s
drive to expand the NATO military alliance declared,
Krushchev’s Cuban crisis, there hasn’t been such a sharp
issue in relations between Russia and the United States, which
concerns Russia’s interests to the degree that everyone should
think about it, Americans and Europeans.
In October 1962, U.S. president John Kennedy imposed a naval blockade on Cuba and brought the world to the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union over Havana’s acquisition of missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
During the recent U.S. military buildup in the Arab- Persian Gulf,
Yeltsin twice warned that Washington could
run into a world war
through its military actions.
For most workers, the only imperialist wars they’ve known have been aimed at the subjugation of semicolonial nations. But the 1990-91 assault on Iraq and the U.S.-led occupation of Bosnia will more and more be the pattern of imperialist wars in the coming years. This was among the questions socialist workers and youth discussed at a series of regional socialist educational conferences held in Chicago, Birmingham, Toronto, and Seattle between October 1997 and January 1998. SWP national secretary Barnes gave one of the main presentations at each of these conferences.
Speaking in Toronto, Barnes pointed out that this period is the first time since the 1930s that the economic crises bred by capitalism are coming home to the imperialist countries. An economic collapse is especially looming in Europe, where the capitalist economies are relatively weaker and the rulers have been so far incapable of driving down wages and living conditions to the same extent as those in the United States.
As part of the preparations for the wars it is driven to launch
against working people around the world, intertwined with attacks on
workers at home, the rulers in every imperialist country need to
convince working people to put the interests of
first. Working people need to reject all forms of economic
nationalism, Barnes said. That was the point of the main banner at the
conferences, which read,
Ask not what you can do for `your
country.’ Ask what you can do for your class.