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A socialist newsweekly published in the interests of working people
Vol. 68/No. 32September 7, 2004

 
(editorial)
Oppose bipartisan assault
from United States to Iraq
Support the working-class alternative
Vote Socialist Workers Party in 2004!
 
 
Militant photos by Nicole Sarmiento (above), Dan Fein (left)
Socialist Workers candidate for U.S. president Róger Calero (left) at August 17 press conference in Albany, New York, announcing that socialists filed 30,000 signatures that day. State officials said SWP will be on ballot. Calero's running mate, Arrin Hawkins (above, right), campaigns in June at Point Blank Body Armor in Oakland Park, Florida. Workers at plant, which makes protective gear for the armed forces and police, won first union contract in April.

Workers and farmers in the United States face an intensifying assault by the bosses and the twin parties of capitalism—the Democrats and Republicans—on our wages, working conditions, social wage, and broader gains. And increasingly, attacks on our political rights as well, more and more carried out in the name of the “global war on terrorism.”

The ruling classes in the United States, Europe, Japan, and elsewhere are driven in their assaults on working people by intensifying competition common to the opening stages of a world economic and financial crisis. This sharpening conflict between the dominant imperialist powers over dividing and redividing the world’s markets and resources among themselves is rooted in the long-term decline of the average rate of industrial profit—that is, the normal workings of the capitalist system.

The foreign policy of Washington and other imperialist powers—from trade conflicts over agricultural subsidies to the Anglo-American war on Iraq—is an extension of their domestic policy, of the offensive against labor at home.

This antilabor and prowar course is not simply the product of the agenda of George Walker Bush.

The Democratic contender for the White House, John Forbes Kerry, has made it clear he would have backed the invasion of Iraq even if he knew in the winter of 2003 that no “weapons of mass destruction” would be found there. Kerry has worked hard to portray himself as a “war hero” for fighting in Washington’s imperialist military against the Vietnamese people in the 1970s. He insists he will do better than Bush in pursuing the “war on terrorism”—the code word all imperialists use today to tell anyone resisting their domination that the Iraq treatment may be around the corner for them. Kerry was quick to side with Bush’s endorsement of Ariel Sharon’s “settlement plan” and backs Tel Aviv’s murderous policies—aiding the Israeli regime to make the most progress it has achieved in years in keeping the Palestinian people under its boot.

The Democrats’ insistence that the wealthy rulers need better domestic intelligence is contributing to the latest disruption operations by provocateurs of the FBI and other police agencies. On other domestic social and economic policies, Kerry is following in the footsteps of his predecessor William Clinton, famous for “ending welfare as we know it.”

Kerry also tries to paint himself as a defender of women’s rights. But he says he wants abortion to be legal but rare, while it should be a woman’s right to choose. Kerry and the Democratic Party leadership also have a record of promoting cuts in federal funding for abortion, beginning shortly after the Supreme Court decriminalized the procedure in 1973, that have severely curtailed access to abortion, especially for working-class women.

Working people lose with either the Democrats or the Republicans—the two main parties of capitalism.

Smaller capitalist parties, like the Greens, or pro-capitalist campaigns like that by the “independent” ticket of Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo, serve as pressure groups on the Democratic Party, reinforcing the shell game of the twin parties of American imperialism.

The Socialist Workers presidential ticket of Róger Calero and Arrin Hawkins and other SWP candidates across the United States are the only ones offering an independent working-class alternative to the Democrats and Republicans and other “third” capitalist parties.

We urge you to support their campaign and vote Socialist Workers in 2004. Vote for the program, not the man or the woman. What counts is not who you are against, but what you are for!

Calero and Hawkins explain that the problem is not individual politicians, like Bush or Kerry, or even their parties. The cause of the worsening economic and social crisis is the capitalist system and the tiny handful of billionaire families that perpetuate their rule at the expense of the vast majority.

Imperialist war is rooted in the same profit-driven system.

Through Washington’s deadly lightning assault on Iraq in 2003, and its continuing occupation of that country, the U.S. rulers have dealt blows to competitors in “Old Europe”—particularly France and Germany—who are not accepting the U.S. government’s lead rapidly enough. Having consolidated a “New Europe”-based “coalition of the willing,” Washington is increasing its blackmail through intensifying military pressures against Iran, north Korea, Syria, and other countries. “You’re next!”—that’s the brutal message of the imperialist “war on terrorism.”

At the same time, the imperialists in the United States, the European Union, and elsewhere are maintaining their decades-long hostility and punitive policies toward the people of Cuba and their socialist revolution. And they are preparing to intervene anywhere in the Americas, especially in Venezuela, where workers and farmers resist attempts by the local propertied classes and their imperialist allies to turn back the clock.

The Socialist Workers candidates call for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of U.S. and all other imperialist troops not only from Iraq, but Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Korea, Haiti, Colombia, and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. They say U.S. hands off Iran and Venezuela!

The SWP candidates also explain that U.S. imperialism is far from all-powerful. Its historic decline has to do with the long-term economic catastrophe capitalism is dragging humanity toward—Washington’s Achilles’ heel. Resistance by working people in the U.S. and other imperialist countries to the grinding effects of this crisis is the biggest obstacle finance capital faces. Since the end of the 1990s, the long-term retreat of the labor movement bottomed out in most of the imperialist world. This sea change in working-class politics has opened modest but genuine and ongoing opportunities for militant workers to integrate themselves into, and to respond to, resistance by trade unionists and others to the bosses’ assaults—from coal mines in the western United States, to meatpacking plants in the Midwest, to garment factories in the South and elsewhere.

At the heart of the Socialist Workers campaign is support for the right of workers to organize unions and to defend ourselves against the bosses’ assaults on our jobs, wages, working conditions, and dignity. Working people not only need to defend ourselves on the economic level. We need to organize independently of the employers on the political arena, too. Socialists call for the formation of a labor party, based on the unions, that fights in the interests of workers and farmers.

Socialist candidates also explain that working people are the only social force that can end imperialism and its wars and change the course of humanity. The working class and its allies on the land can do so by following their line of march toward overturning capitalist rule, establishing a government of workers and farmers, and joining the worldwide struggle for socialism—a system based not on maximizing the profits of a few already wealthy families but on human solidarity and meeting the needs of the vast majority.

Join us in campaigning for the working-class alternative in November and beyond! Join us in campaigning for socialism!
 
 
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Jackson, Mississippi, newspaper calls socialists ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’

Hundreds in Delaware register socialist to put SWP on ballot

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