Solidarity with Spring Antiwar Actions
Unfortunately, it seems that UNAC’s “Spring Rising” demonstration only attracted a “few hundred” protesters. How could this be? How do we build a genuinely mass antiwar movement? The circumstances today are different from the period of the Vietnam war, but building an antiwar movement based on a united front mass action strategy should still be possible.
On the 12th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, we want to express our solidarity with spring antiwar actions. The US imperialist policy of endless wars and intervention in the affairs of the neo-colonial countries only serves the interests of the ruling rich, and not those of the working class and oppressed. The capitalist system, a system based on exploitation, environmental destruction and oppression, makes wars inevitable as the bourgeoisie seeks ever-increasing control over resources and markets. The imperialist powers seek to carve up the world in their desire to dominate the world in pursuit of profits.
Bush’s war for oil in Iraq destabilized the region and is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. These criminal policies were continued by Obama, who, as a candidate for the Presidency, promised to end the wars and government spying. Instead, Obama expanded drone warfare and has continued attacks on civil liberties. Troops remain on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, albeit at reduced levels. There are troops on the ground in Africa as part of the war on terror. The war policies of the Bush and Obama years have been a bipartisan affair.
The Obama administration has been seeking the authorization to further expand the US war drive in the name of fighting the reactionary Islamic State, a terrorist entity that is an indirect product of the disastrous US policies in the region.
GOP politicians, and the US far right, oppose the administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran. Netanyahu speech in Congress saying that Iran is an “existential threat” to the state of Israel was an attempt to derail these talks. A letter signed by 47 US senators also tried to undermine the negotiations. In spite of this sabotage, the possibility of a deal with Iran, the US, and its partners in the negotiations (Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China) is very real. Leaders on both sides have signaled willingness to compromise.
The hypocrisy of US politicians and Israeli leaders is exposed for all to see. Both the US and Israel have nuclear weapons, but they seek to curtail Iran’s nuclear program. Israel’s nukes and apartheid policies are a greater threat to peace in the region than Iran.
Obama’s threats against Venezuela
On March 9th, Obama issued an executive order declaring Venezuela a threat to US national security and placing sanctions on 7 officials of the Bolivarian government. A spokesman for the administration took Caracas to task for alleged human rights violations saying, “Venezuelan officials past and present who violate the human rights of Venezuelan citizens and engage in acts of public corruption will not be welcome here, and we now have the tools to block their assets and their use of US financial systems…”
This ignores the real history of US imperialist intervention in Latin America and the role of US intelligence agencies in coups and assassinations in the region. There is a demonstrated history of coups, and US imperialist intervention, in Cuba, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Chile and Venezuela. We should never forget the US bankrolling of Salvadoran and Guatemalan death squads during the civil wars in those countries or the financing of the Nicaraguan contra terrorists. The history of US imperialism in Latin America is one of murder, rape and torture.
The campaign of economic sabotage and destabilization by the rightist opposition in Venezuela is similar to the campaign to destabilize Chile in the period preceding the overthrow of the democratically-elected reformist government of Salvador Allende.
In response to this destabilization campaign, the Maduro government has tried to negotiate with sections of the “democratic” opposition. The lessons of Chile are clear, you can’t make revolution halfway or in slow motion. You can’t rely of the democratic principles of the military officer corps. The way forward is the arming of the working class through popular militias and the deepening of the revolutionary process.
In spite of the socialist rhetoric of Chavez and Maduro, the Bolivarian project has not moved in the direction of socialist revolution. The Bolivarian project is in many ways similar to other Latin American populist regimes past and present. Relying on partial nationalizations and the use of oil profits to fund social reforms is not enough. What is necessary is the mobilization of the working class and other popular sectors to complete the revolutionary process.
United front antiwar actions are necessary
The antiwar movement has to overcome the divisions that prevent effective mass actions and fight against the illusion that the Democratic Party is a party of peace. The record of the Democrats has been one of war and mass murder. We should think twice before we buy another peace con job from a Democratic politician.
Unfortunately, the antiwar movement, as it exists today, is not a mass movement but a layer of already-radicalized activists. This creates a situation where the left captures itself inside coalitions like the United National Antiwar coalition, which has a radical sounding laundry list of demands but no roots in the mass organizations of the working class.
Worse yet, our friends in UNAC attended an “anti-imperialist” conference in Moscow that was also attended by the reactionary and racist League of the South and the Texas Nationalist Movement. Read the UNAC report HERE. (A big question remains for members of the organization, Socialist Action; how long will you follow your leadership down the road of campism?)
Genuine united front antiwar actions are necessary to build opposition to the current US imperialist policy of endless wars. Unfortunately, it seems that SA and UNAC have forgotten what a united front consists of. The united front is a tactic aimed at advancing the immediate struggles of working people and the oppressed. The united front is a crucial element in the building of a revolutionary party worthy of the name.
During the Vietnam antiwar struggle, the Socialist Workers Party built what they referred to a a “united front of a special type” which was intended to build the broadest possible unity in opposition to the US imperialist intervention in Southeast Asia. The united front of a special type was certainly not intended as a “left” antiwar coalition, which is what UNAC has become.
All out to oppose war and austerity!
US Hands off Venezuela!
US hands off Iran!
US out of the Middle East and Africa!