(Leaflet of the Seattle Anti-Imperialist Committee,
Oct. 5, 2006, reprinted in CV #39, Jan. 2007)
. Imperialist-in-Chief George W. Bush is one of the most hated Presidents in U.S. history, and with good reason. Every week we seem to read about a new Bush outrage.
. Some of these Bush-led outrages include:
. Whether Bush is eventually impeached, or whether he survives his last two years in office,
beating back this class program of the rich is what the masses of people are, in fact, confronted
with. But organizing the necessary kind of of fight-back also requires opposing the Democratic
Party, a party that fully supports the essence of Bush's reactionary program. True, on some issues
they oppose certain aspects of Bush's plans, but this is generally accompanied by proposals for
various "alternatives" within the overall framework of the Bush-led imperialist offensive.
Moreover, they've been particularly supportive of Bush's wars, attacks on immigrants, and the
curtailment of civil liberties.
The Democrats are a war party
. The Democrats have always supported Bush's "war on terrorism," often criticizing him for not being ferocious enough in prosecuting it. And their real stand was shown, once again, in last Friday's Senate vote on whether to spend $70 billion more for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of a record Pentagon budget. Senate Democrats and Republicans united to pass it-by a vote of 100-0
. Even the "progressive" wing of this party has nothing to offer but new schemes for the maintenance and expansion of imperialist domination and control. This can be seen in their support for the Iraq "withdrawal plan" proposed by Rep. John Murtha (D-PA). According to this plan, U.S. troops will remain in Iraq for six more months of war-making, whereupon they'll be re-located to the "periphery" of Iraq. It calls for the maintenance of "a quick reaction force in the region" and an "over-the-horizon presence" of Marines. Many of this plan's supporters point to the fact that it will free up U. S. troops for re-deployment to the U.S. -led war in Afghanistan, while others note that a partial "withdrawal" will put the imperialists in a better position to "deal with" (read: threaten and possibly attack) Iran.
. So while some of these "progressive" Democrats continue to posture in front of anti-war rallies
pretending to be our friends, the most cursory look at the facts shows just the opposite. They're
no more our friends than Bush himself. And that's just the "left" wing of the party. Meanwhile,
mainstream Democrats agree with Bush that setting a specific timetable for troop withdrawal
from Iraq would be "unwise."
The Democrats are bitter enemies of immigrants
. Most Democrats did indeed vote against the reactionary H.R. 4437 that would have turned approximately 12 million undocumented immigrants into felons. Meanwhile, liberal Democrats, moderate Republicans and even Bush himself were and are leading the way in fighting for what they call a "comprehensive immigration reform," which in reality amounts to little more than a comprehensive attack on immigrants -- and ultimately the entire working class. These reactionary proposals have taken various forms over the past few months, while millions filled the streets in protest.
. First there was the McCain-Kennedy bill, which proposed to double the current number of immigration cops, spend billions of dollars to construct a high-tech "virtual wall" along the Mexico-U. S. border, and which would have required immigrants to carry a new electronic identification card connected to a huge national data base containing the immigrants' work history, legal status, fingerprints, iris scan, etc. More, the bill called for eventually extending this electronic verification to all workers. True, this bill also contained a "path to citizenship" that would have required immigrants to pay thousands in fines and to jump through endless hoops for at least 10 years, all while attempting to eke out a living as part of a racist "guest worker" program as the Department of Homeland Security breathes down their neck.
. These same basic anti-immigrant, anti-working-class features, and more, are all contained
within last May's Hagel-Martinez bill (or S. 2611), passed 62-36, with the support of 38 (almost
all) of the Senate Democrats, while the four Senate Democrats who opposed it did so for rightist
reasons, i.e. , the bill's phony "path to citizenship" wasn't quite restrictive enough for their tastes.
The Democrats also support curtailment of
civil liberties and basic democratic rights
. Many of today's Bush-led attacks on civil liberties were made considerably easier by the fact that previous Democratic Administrations, and current Democratic politicians, have continually paved the way for them. Neither these laws, nor the political preconditions for their implementation, fell from the sky. Take, for instance, Clinton's prosecution of the so-called "war on drugs," or his support for the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act which helped to "normalize" the idea of warrantless government wiretaps, or Clinton's own program for a "war on terrorism," the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. Look at how Clinton's "legal but rare" mantra on abortions helped to provide a political and ideological basis for the ongoing Republican attacks on womens' reproductive rights.
. That the Democrats overwhelmingly voted to pass and then renew the USA Patriot Act is
well-documented. Even when it came time to vote on the Bush-backed torture-legalizing, habeas
corpus-junking "Military Commission Act of 2006," 34 House Democrats and 12 Senate
Democrats voted in strong support. And even the "opponents" of this fascistic bill absolutely
refused to filibuster or disrupt the proceedings in any way.
Bush's Program is a bi-partisan class offensive
. How does The World Can't Wait! Drive out the Bush Regime! (WCW) suggest we fight it?
"We need more than fighting Bush's outrages one at a time, constantly losing ground to the whole onslaught. We must, and can, aim to create a political situation where the Bush regime's program is repudiated, where Bush himself is driven from office, and where the whole direction he has been taking society is reversed. " (WCW Call)
. But this, and the entire WCW campaign, one-sidedly focuses everything on Bush. True, WCW also says, "There is not going to be some savior from the Democratic Party," but then they proudly proclaim that Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and other Democrats have signed their Call as if these politicians are some kind of saviors after all. Meanwhile, they're silent on the fact that Conyers himself is a leading Congressional proponent of bringing back the military draft, which would provide more cannon fodder for the "war on terror!"
. The Democratic Party represents and serves the same imperialist ruling class as the Republicans, and has itself laid much of the political basis for Bush's reactionary assaults. It's not simply a question of how they haven't been "doing anything" to stop them they've been complicit every step of the way! But WCW says nothing about this, and their near-exclusive focus on Bush, Bush, Bush implies support for his ruling class rivals, the Democrats.
. Moreover, WCW fails to note that fighting Bush's outrages "one at a time" is a necessary part of
"creat[ing] a political situation where the Bush regime's program is repudiated." With
emotionalism and hype, the WCW call glosses over this and many other things that must be done
if the ruling class is to be thrown into such a crisis that it decides to sacrifice Bush and make
various temporary concessions to the mass movements. (Of course, the ruling class will not and
cannot repudiate wars, oppression and repression because they're built into the system. )
Unite to build the anti-imperialist movement!
. For our part, the Seattle Anti-Imperialist Committee supports exposure and denunciation of Bush and the program he leads, and we do this ourselves. As part of this, we support and participate in anti-Bush demonstrations, including those called by WCW. But we also say that this is not enough. The ruling class offensive that we're confronted with can only be beaten back through mass resistance and struggle on many fronts. This means that all of the present struggles or movements must be further developed in their own right. It also means that the most class conscious activists in these movements must find ways of leading them to actively support each other -- and begin to combine them into a mass anti-imperialist movement that consciously targets the monopoly-capitalist class responsible for the problems that each separate movement confronts. And, if these processes are to proceed at the maximum pace possible, then the most clear-sighted activists must unite in order to do the necessary, in-depth political work.
. From this framework we think one of the key movements in need of further development is the
anti-war movement, and we struggle to place this movement on a firmer, anti-imperialist basis.
By targeting imperialism, a system built up on the class exploitation and oppression of the
working people of all nationalities, the mass anti-war movement will draw more people into
motion and increase their militancy-helping to truly "bring to a halt" this bipartisan imperialist
offensive of the rich.
Seattle Anti-Imperialist Committee, October 5, 2006 <>
February 25, 2007.