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Commentary :: Globalization : International : Labor : Organizing : Politics : Social Welfare : War and Militarism
Defend Iran! Defeat US imperialism in Iraq and Afghanistan! For labor strikes against the war!
04 Mar 2007
So, on balance, the antiwar movement lies to workers about the Democrats, encouraging workers to support politicians who represent the interests of the class enemy, those who exploit working people. Even if some of the more left-talking groups may criticize the Democrats in their newspapers, they fight for a "broad," "single-issue" movement, that is, class-neutral, safe for the Democratic Party war-makers.
from the March, 2007 edition of Working Class Emancipation

DEFEND IRAN
Defeat US imperialism in Iraq and Afghanistan!
For labor strikes against the war!
by Yosef M.

A striking chain of words and deeds strongly suggests that the US and/or its surrogate Israel will launch an attack on Iran, yet another country that is incapable of attacking the US. The world press has chronicled the military moves that have brought an enormous concentration of aggressive US military force to the Persian Gulf, opposite the Iranian coast, where there are now two US naval air groups led by aircraft carriers, the USS John C. Stennis and the USS Dwight Eisenhower, making the US military presence in the Persian Gulf the biggest force deployed since the invasion of Iraq. Press reports tell us this deployment is intended to enforce UN sanctions against Iran, a country not at war with anyone, and to "send a message to Tehran." The US attack on Iran will reportedly include air attacks on most Iranian military infrastructure, Iranian air bases and Navy bases, missile installations, and command and control centers.

It could be only a matter of weeks before the US attacks Iran. The Bush administration has repeatedly refused to rule out the use of deadly force by the US against the Iranian people: On February 23, Vice President Cheney said, "We haven't taken any options off the table ... A nuclear-armed Iran is not a very pleasant prospect for anybody to think about ... We need to continue to do everything we can to make sure they don't achieve that objective."

The maniacal, utterly misanthropic nature of this totally unprovoked US/Israeli aggression against Iran is what stands out. Iran, within its rights as a sovereign nation, is pursuing nuclear power for peaceful ends. The US, which used atomic bombs to contaminate and incinerate 140,000 Japanese civilians in 1945, at a time when Japanese diplomats were in Stockholm seeking to end the war in the Pacific through negotiations; the US, which has now launched two devastating wars against Iraq, both wars filled with US crimes against humanity, like the initial US "shock and awe" attack against Baghdad, a city of five million civilian inhabitants; the US is in no position to condemn Iran for anything. Since Hiroshima, US militarism has shown itself to be the enemy of all the earth's peoples, the number one murderous and criminal state on the planet, the utmost opponent of peace, progress and human survival. In George W. Bush's insane wars, we see the true face of US power.

How, then, should working people respond to Bush's rapidly-approaching aggression against Iran? Does the antiwar movement, as presently constituted, offer a solution, a way to prevent or stop US aggression against Iran? Sadly, no. Because of its leadership's refusal to break ranks with liberal capitalists and agitate for class war against imperialist war, the "antiwar" movement is merely an extension of the Democratic party. This truth has been demonstrated over and over again: at every antiwar demonstration, Democratic office-holders are offered a platform to drum up support for their re-election. In even-numbered years, the "antiwar" movement is on hiatus, so as not to get in the way of any pro-war Democrat seeking higher office.

The major "antiwar" coalition, United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), follows the Communist Party (CP) line of supporting pro-war Democratic politicians, those who have voted funds for the war in Iraq (which is all of them) in any way possible. In 2000, the CP called for votes for Gore, and in 2004, the CP was all out for Kerry. The head of the local "antiwar" group where our tendency is active sent out an e-mail message saying, "Now that the election cycle is coming to an end, it's time for the anti-war movement to get back in gear ... I see a resurgence of the peace movement on the horizon." This proves the division of labor between the Democratic party and its wholly-owned popular-front satellite, the "antiwar" movement.

The most recent national demonstration against the war was led by UFPJ. The other active force in the "antiwar" movement, the Stalinist Party for Socialism and Liberation, doing business as ANSWER, with their former comrades of Workers World Party playing second fiddle as the Troops Out Now Coalition, will organize a national action at the Pentagon this month. This amalgam of organizations is effectively the twin of UFPJ in its subservience to the Democrats, which is shown by the presence of former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who led the Federal government's drive to destroy the Black Panther Party. Some peacemaker!

The problem with the "antiwar" movement's joint action with the Democrats is that the Democratic party is the enemy of workers everywhere, and has been since before it was the party of the slave-owning Confederacy. Congressional Democrats supported, with near-unanimity, the PATRIOT act, Bush's declaration of war on the Bill of Rights. Democrats in Congress then enthusiastically voted in 2002 to authorize the deadly, unprovoked attack on Baghdad, which initiated the current, everlasting US war against the peoples of Iraq in 2003. Since then, Democrats have voted to give Bush every billion he asked for - no military-industrial corporation left behind! - to carry out a war whose every justification has been shown to be a lie, a war whose expansion into Iran the Democrats are now supporting: speaking earlier this year to the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC, Hillary Clinton, an enthusiastic supporter of Bush's war in Iraq, said, "U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal: We cannot, we should not, we must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons." Paraphrasing George W. Bush, Senator Clinton concluded: "In dealing with this threat ... no option can be taken off the table." Campaigning for a US Senate seat in September, 2004, Barack Obama conceded that "launching some missile strikes into Iran is not the optimal position for us to be in," but added, "On the other hand, having a radical Muslim theocracy in possession of nuclear weapons is worse."

We believe that the working class should always be told the truth. Our position, Defend Iraq! Defeat US imperialism! is rejected by the "antiwar" movement for precisely that reason, because our slogan tells working people the truth, that US military power threatens not just the innocent people of Iran, but the whole of humanity; we say to the workers that, for the good of all people everywhere, what is needed is a total defeat of US power, and we tell our class, the workers, that their side in the coming war against Iran is with the Iranian people, that US patriotism merely strengthens the hand of those who are the enemies of Iran and also the class enemies of working people in the US. While giving no support to the theocratic capitalist regime in Tehran, we are unconditionally for its military defense against US aggression, by any means necessary.

Our position, Defend Iran! Defeat US imperialism! may not be popular in the "antiwar" coalition, that is, among Democrats, but we are on the side of truth. None of our critics has yet admitted the considerable dishonesty involved in trying to convince workers that the Democrats, also known as Bush's eager enablers, can be trusted to end this war. Anyone who remembers the Democratic convention in Boston, in the summer of 2004, knows what a lie that is: "Lieutenant John Kerry, reporting for duty," who said, "I would have voted for the war, even if I had know there were no WMDs," to the party that expelled liberal activist Medea Benjamin from its convention hall for wearing a scarf with the words, "Peace Democrat," thereby proving there is no such thing.

In fact, the totally toothless resolutions passed by Congressional Democrats show their party has an interest in prolonging the war for at least two more years. Congressional Democrats, pretending to be antiwar (after five years of supporting Bush and his war), pass their meaningless resolutions, which save zero lives, and wait for the 2008 elections, when they can claim to be the solution merely by virtue of not being Republicans. The continuation of the war in Iraq would actually benefit the pro-war Democratic front-runners Clinton and Obama, giving them a potent issue against the GOP, an advantage they lose if the war somehow ends.

So, on balance, the antiwar movement lies to workers about the Democrats, encouraging workers to support politicians who represent the interests of the class enemy, those who exploit working people. Even if some of the more left-talking groups may criticize the Democrats in their newspapers, they fight for a "broad," "single-issue" movement, that is, class-neutral, safe for the Democratic Party war-makers.

To the "antiwar" movement's (read Democratic party's) big lie, that Democrat politicians can be trusted, or pressured through peaceful protests and criticism, to end the war, we answer with the truth that only the working class has the social power and the interest in ending this damnable, expanding war of US aggression. We add to that the further truth, that the class struggle is the fight against imperialist war. Wars between the great imperialist powers are built into the system of imperialism: since the dawn of the twentieth century, "peace" has only been the preparation for the next imperialist slaughter, or the bloody "pacification" of the empire's colonies like Iraq and Afghanistan. The only way out is the overthrow of the imperialist system through workers' revolution. Finally, we tell the workers the way to end this war is by relying on their strength and their own methods, strikes, soldier rebellions, and the refusal to transport weapons and supplies for the imperialist war machine.
See also:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/labor_action/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/emancipation_news/

This work is in the public domain
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