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Commentary :: Politics
Immediate Withdrawal From Iraq
20 Mar 2006
March 20th marks the 3rd Anniversary of the American-led invasion of Iraq. Enough is Enough.
Break with the Twin Parties of Capitalism—For a Workers Party that fights for a workers government!
March 20, 2006 marks the 3rd Anniversary of the American invasion of Iraq now is the time to renew our efforts to get out of that quagmire. Enough is Enough! ANYONE who reads this statement knows that the occupation of Iraq is not going well for U.S. imperialism. More than 2,000 Americans have forfeited their lives in Iraq, while over 100,000 Iraqis have been killed as a result of the war and occupation. Most Americans are now aware that the expressed reasons for the occupation were lies concocted by the Republican administration. As a result there is a mood of defeatism in the air reminiscence of the Vietnam era, especially among Democrats politicians, as a way to hide their complicity in the destruction that rained down on the peoples who inhabit Iraq. The Democrats would have us believe that they were at the tender mercies of Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and one Karl Rove. Believe this at your peril.
The bitter truth is that to date the main imperialist executioner of the Iraqi peoples was Democrat Bill Clinton, backed by a United Nations embargo. The starvation blockade, mainly during his eight years in office, killed a million and a half Iraqis. Furthermore in the lead up to the current war the hundreds of UN monitors of Saddam Hussein's military capabilities assuredly communicated to both Democratic and Republican leaders, that Iraq was incapable of any coherent military action against the U.S. Additionally, the Bush administration created the myth of the link between Saddam Hussein to Al Qaeda. The press was aware of the reality, as were these selfsame Democrats, who nevertheless voted overwhelmingly for the war.
As a capitalist party, the Democrats are dedicated to the fundamental interests of U.S. imperialism, which launched the Iraq invasion to assert its unchallenged domination over this oil-rich region and the globe. The reformist and liberal left that dominates the antiwar coalitions hangs on to the coattails of the liberal imperialist opposition, searching for more rational ways of maintaining this profoundly irrational system. As advocates of class struggle against the rulers of this society, our standpoint is the need to mobilize the multiracial working class in a fight against the imperialist rulers, both Democratic and Republican. We must take a side for the military defense of Iraq against the U.S. and allied imperialists, at the same time standing in irreconcilable political opposition to the reactionary puppet regime. To that end we must fight for an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq. This is the burning issue of the times.
Ruling Class War Against U.S. Workers
Ordinary working people are being hammered by draconian cuts in health benefits and the disappearance of pensions. Despite these declines U.S. workers are prone to see themselves not as members of the working class, with interests that are counterposed to the capitalists, but as part of a "middle class" that lies somewhere between abject poverty and unimaginable wealth. The American ruling class, who know there is a working class from whose exploitation they derive their profits, and who seek to increase profits through speed-up, layoffs and wage cuts do not share such illusions. There are a number of historical sources for the political naiveté of the U.S. working class, that is, for its inability to recognize its class identity in opposition to the capitalist class. The primary and day-to-day barrier to the forging of a working-class party is the special oppression of black people as a race-color caste. If the good industrial job has gone, it is to no small degree black workers who are thrown into unemployment and the grinding poverty of the ghetto. If education and health care are going down the drain for most everyone, it's been this way in the ghettos for decades. What Karl Marx said almost 150 years ago is every bit as true today: "Labor cannot emancipate itself in the white skin where in the black it is branded."
For Working-Class Power!
Now that it clear that Bush’s regime is incompetent the Democratic wolves are gathering. For decades, it was the norm that the Democratic Party, as the capitalist party that sought the votes of working people, at least pretended to address their concerns, promising a less savage and heartless social contract. This was the legacy of the 1930s New Deal under Franklin D. Roosevelt, which proposed a set of palliative reforms in an attempt to deflect an upsurge of class struggle. Instead of leading to the formation of a workers party, the titanic labor battles of the time were channeled by most leftist political organizations, notably the American Communist Party and most of the union leaders into support for Roosevelt's Democratic Party. Since that time, it has been primarily through the instrument of the Democratic Party that the trade-union officialdom has chained the workers to the capitalists and their state. Let’s be clear about this. The Democratic Party has the same class interests as the Republicans. The Democrats may still wrap their program differently to appeal to their voters, for example over social issues such as abortion rights. Whereas the Republicans are open in their contempt for labor and blacks, the Democrats continue to posture as "friends of labor," the better to position themselves to contain outbreaks of class struggle. But given the low level of class and social struggle, there is simply no current motivation for the Democrats to offer up the New Deal rhetoric that some of their liberal ideologues demand. Furthermore, ruling-class politicians, Democrats included, will not lightly tamper with the imperial presidency. Nevertheless, increased parliamentary opposition to the Bush administration may well deepen if, for example, the Iraq occupation gets further bogged down or the domestic economy worsens.
Damn It! Any labor movement worth its salt would use the unraveling of the White House to mount a fightback against the massive assault on working people. Why, for example, given the attacks on health benefits and the declining number of those covered by any such insurance, are the unions not fighting for some form of national health insurance? This directly raises the question of labor's leadership. We must understand that the existing leadership of the trade unions is the representative of the capitalist order within the working class. Residing in the most powerful imperialist country on the planet, this labor bureaucracy not only concedes the "right" of the capitalist rulers to a profit but supports their aspiration to dominate their imperialist competitors. This is just as true of Andy Stern's Change to Win Coalition as it is of John Sweeney's AFL-CIO officialdom. Both seek "partnership" with the American capitalists. The labor tops' class collaboration is exemplified by their "America First" protectionism, pitting the U.S. proletariat against its class brothers and sisters overseas, and their role as lieutenants of U.S. imperialism in subverting struggles of working people in the semi-colonial world. The burning need for class struggle is inextricably linked to fighting for the political independence of the proletariat from the capitalists' political parties and governmental agencies. What is required is a new, class-struggle leadership of labor. The crucial task is to break labor from the Democrats and to forge a working-class party that shares no interest with the bosses but rather seeks the overthrow of their system and the establishment of workers rule.

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