From a leaflet for the October 27, 2007 demonstrations against the war in Iraq:

Mobilize against bipartisan imperialism!
US out of Iraq now!

(CV #41, February 2008)


. The working masses are sick of the US occupation of Iraq. And the Iraqi working people, who've been ravaged by the occupation, want the US out of Iraq, too. But the Bush administration doesn't care about the masses here or in Iraq. They only care about pleasing the oil barons and other corporate titans of capitalism. So the war drags on with no end in sight. The Bush regime has made clear it has no intention of ending the war so long as they're in office.

. The Democrats appealed to the wave of anti-war sentiment and were elected to a congressional majority. Trust us, they said, we will put an end to Bush's occupation. Instead they continue to help Bush finance the war machine. And the three leading Democratic presidential candidates, Clinton, Obama and Edwards, admit they may keep troops in Iraq until 2013!

. Thus, as anti-war forces again take to the streets against Bush's war, there is also bitter resentment against the Democrats. In recent months a section of activists have held protests against the anti-war "heroes" of the Democratic Party. The anti-war mask of the Democrats is being ripped off. What we're seeing is they're accomplices of Bush. What's becoming clearer is that both parties are sold out to capitalist big business and their imperialist system of world domination. While the bourgeois opposition to Bush poses as anti-war, the masses want real opposition. The task is to mobilize the workers and other oppressed into a force in their own right, a force that targets the capitalists and the imperialist system itself.

Down with Bush's war of imperialist conquest!

. Bush got rid of Hussein not because Hussein was a murderous thug. Bush, like the ruling capitalist class as a whole, believes the US must dominate the Middle East and its oil. So after the hated Baathist dictatorship was gone, the US military made itself at home in Iraq. Instead of bringing liberation, the occupation has made life a living hell for the Iraqi people and created the conditions for brutal sectarian warfare. Meanwhile, oil and other economic sectors are to be privatized so they can be easy pickings for US corporations. And Bush is talking about a permanent US military outpost in Iraq, similar to that in South Korea for over 50 years.

. For all their imperial might, Bush and co. haven't been able to stabilize Iraq under US control. Nor has Bush's troop "surge" gotten US imperialism out of its fiasco. The longer the US stays, the bloodier the conflict grows between rival sections of the Iraqi exploiters, from ex-Baathists to competing Sunni and Shia Islamic fundamentalist clerics, to neo-liberal Kurdish allies of the US. Desperate to establish its control, US forces one day declare war on an Iraqi faction while the next day they provide arms to that faction to use against a rival group, giving new impetus to the civil war. The Iraqi government of al-Malaki and its armed forces, still touted by Bush as a hope for peace, is itself divided by warring militias who are good only at terrorizing the masses.

. To top things off, the parliament of US ally Turkey, a long-time oppressor of the Kurds, recently voted to allow Turkish forces to carry out major military campaigns into Kurdish territory inside Iraq. Turkey is terrified that the Iraqi Kurds' just battle for self-determination will inspire the liberation movement among its own Kurdish population. The US doesn't support self-determination for the Kurds either, but it wants Turkey to restrain itself. But the Turkish government swears it's just protecting itself against terrorists. It's a bit tough for Bush to argue against this, as this is the same bull the US gives for continuing its occupation of Iraq.

The Democrats betray masses to remain loyal to imperialism

. Campaigning among the people, the Democrats sound like they can't stand the war. But actions speak louder than words. The Democratic leadership opposes an immediate total withdrawal of US troops because they want to salvage the occupation, not stop it. So they come up with new varieties of occupation. They would withdraw some troops -- eventually. Mainly they would redeploy troops to different areas around Iraq. Contrary to the Democratic leaders, it's not Bush's vetoes that stop the Democrats from ending the war, but the fact that the Democrats' own plans are designed to keep US domination of the Middle East and its oil. They only disagree with Bush over how to accomplish this.

. True there are a group of left-wing Democrats who call for a total withdrawal of US forces within months. Reps. like Dennis Kucinich (OH), John Conyers (MI) , and Luis Gutierrez (IL) and Lynn Woolsey (CA) promised this in bill HR 508. But this bill allows US support for a UN/NATO occupation, a UN which is dominated by the US and other big imperialist powers. And HR508 also allows the plunder of Iraqi oil by the imperialist multinationals. At bottom, the left-wing Democrats want a slicker way to defend the big corporations.

. The anger against the Democrats' failure to stop the occupation has led to a number of protests directly targeting them. Noted anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, who previously was friendly to the Democrats, has denounced them and decided to run against Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi. Activists sat in at Conyers' offices to protest his failure to carry through on promises to seek Bush's impeachment. While chickening out against Bush, Conyers had the protesters arrested.

. Besides the Democratic opposition, there's Ron Paul, the libertarian Republican running for president. He's against the war, but wants to let the capitalists run wild over the working masses through eliminating any regulation on them. Yet these capitalists are the very force behind the imperialist system.

The masses vs. bipartisan imperialism

. Both Bush and the Democrats are digging in to prolong the Iraq fiasco. It's clear that nothing will move forward until the masses are organized against both warmongering parties and the imperialist system they represent. Workers and activists who are pissed off at the back-stabbing Democrats -- the task at hand is mobilizing the ordinary working people, the poor, the oppressed minorities, etc. Activists should concentrate on bringing meetings and protests into the working class neighborhoods, and on leafleting at the workplaces and working class schools and communities.

. The masses must be mobilized not as cheering squads for the next phony Democratic "hero", but as a force with their own class agenda and militancy. The struggle should be based not on finding more clever ways for the multinational corporations to take over the Middle East but on solidarity with the Iraqi workers and poor who are groaning under the occupation. The Iraqi people suffer not only from imperialism, but internal class enemies, from the al-Malaki regime to the fundamentalist clerics to the ex-Baathists. Let's help lift the burden of the occupation off their backs and encourage all steps to new class organization there.

. The years of anti-war organizing have so far not stayed Bush's hand. But they have played a great role in spreading the truth about the war and opposition to it. The betrayal of the Democrats provides a new opportunity to appeal to the masses against the true source of the war, the imperialist system and the parties supporting it. []

For universal public health care,
not private insurance

. The American health care system is in crisis. Bush doesn't care, so he vetoed extension of the SCHIP program for medical care. A number of politicians promise they can fix it but they want to preserve the system of private insurance. The Massachusetts plan goes to the extent of criminalizing the uninsured, while extending the role of the insurance companies. The main Democratic candidates for the presidential nomination promote a complex mixture of government safety-net programs and regulations; but the bottom line is that they won't have anything to do with a truly national health care system.

. Michael Moore's movie Sicko showed that such tinkering is a fraud. It fingered the HMOs and the insurance companies who make money off our misery. It showed that government-run national health care is far superior to the system of insurance companies that is predominant here. And it showed that such programs already exist in Canada, France, Britain, and Cuba.

. But Sicko only told part of the story. To his credit, Moore showed that Hillary Clinton has been in the pocket of the health capitalists for quite some time. But Moore glossed over how the neo-liberal capitalists of Canada and Western Europe have for years been mutilating the health programs there. He ignored that the state-capitalist ruling class in Cuba maintains a two-tier system of health care and living standards. These omissions obscured the need for the working class to organize itself independently of all the different factions of the bourgeoisie.

. As for the US, the universal system with most support here is a "single-payer" system such as that in Canada. Such a plan would be a marvelous step forward.

. But, valuable as it would be, a single-payer plan is not the final goal. It would not, for example, tame the big pharmaceutical companies, or force them to improve the way they carry out drug research. Yet health care should be completely removed from the sphere of the marketplace, and made into a right. It should be available to all, including undocumented workers. To accomplish this will take a hard struggle; it is going to be a class struggle; and it is going to require workers to speak up in their own right. []

The danger of global warming
and the failure of free-market solutions

. The environmental crisis is upon us. Every day brings more news of the effects of global warming and the dangers ahead -- including hot summers, rising sea levels, fresh water shortages, crop failures, and increased storms.

. The Bush administration still doesn't believe it, and some conservatives still say global warming is a fraud. So long as they can count their money, they will continue to stick their heads in the sand.

. But Bush isn't the only obstacle. The solutions proposed by the governments and capitalists who are worried about global warming aren't much good. For example, the European countries are not going to meet their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. They are talking about even more ambitious post-Kyoto goals, but they haven't taken seriously their failure to meet the easier Kyoto goals.

. Kyoto failed because it was based on market mechanisms. It relied on setting up a market for the buying and selling of permits to pollute (carbon trading); market forces were supposed to ensure that environmental goals were met. But the corporate drive for profits is what is destroying the environment, and this same drive isn't going to save the environment. Carbon taxes and carbon trading won't civilize the profit motive. An environmental policy based on market measures will be half-hearted. It may preserve corporate profits, but it will allow the planet to go to hell.

. Earlier this month Al Gore shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was being rewarded for his environmental warnings. Gore's book and movie, An Inconvenient Truth, paint a dramatic picture of the dangers of global warming. But unfortunately, Gore proposes the same old failed market policies as the solution to global warming. He tells the truth about the danger of global warming, but lies about the effects of market policies in the past. He puts capitalist profits ahead of environmental sanity.

. If we follow Gore's path, we're doomed. So it is up to the working class to fight for a real defense of the environment:

. We can't leave the issue of global warming to the bourgeoisie. We must fight now for the radical changes need to preserve the environment. This fight will lead to repeated clashes with the financial interests of the bourgeoisie, and so it will help bring about a new revolutionary movement of the working class.

. More about this, as well as about Marx and Engels' views on the environment, can be found at []

Communist Voice Organization
October 27, 2007

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Posted October 26, 2007.