The Militant (logo)  
   Vol. 69/No. 8           February 28, 2005  
No to U.S. threats on Syria, Iran, Korea!
No to the U.S.-led imperialist squeeze on Syria! Oppose Washington’s campaign to press Iran to end its nuclear energy program! Support the right of semicolonial nations threatened by imperialism—including the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)—to arm and defend themselves by whatever means necessary and effective! Working people and youth should campaign with these demands, aiming their fire at Washington and other imperialist governments.

U.S. imperialism and its allies show enormous hypocrisy. America’s properties rulers—whose government is the only one ever to use nuclear weapons, against the Japanese and Korean residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—press full steam ahead in their efforts to achieve nuclear first-strike capacity, including the initial deployment last year in collaboration with Tokyo of a land- and sea-based antiballistic missile weapons system. At the same time, U.S. finance capital is escalating its belligerent demands that north Korea dismantle its nuclear program.

The government of north Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 2003. It has defended its right, and proclaimed its intention, to continue developing nuclear weapons for its defense. The DPRK is the target of a multifront effort, including by Beijing, to force it to halt development of its nuclear program. At the same time, Washington has aided south Korea’s effort to sweep under the rug the fact that as recently as 2000 it produced weapons-grade plutonium and uranium in experiments hidden from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Washington’s demands on Iran, the DPRK, and other semicolonial countries to abandon nuclear enrichment programs needed to produce electrical power reek of imperial arrogance. A majority of the world’s working people has no access to modern forms of fuel or electricity. This illustrates the vast disparity today in social and cultural conditions created and reproduced by the social relations of capitalism. We must defend efforts by the governments of oppressed nations in Asia, the Pacific, Africa, and the Americas to bridge this gap—one that keeps growing—by extending access to electricity to the billions who live without it. This would strengthen the capacity of the toilers to organize and advance politically. And the development and use of nuclear technology is necessary to make this possible.

The imperialist powers have effectively nullified the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty be declaring, contrary to treaty provisions, that “nonnuclear weapons states” will be barred from developing technology and facilities needed to produce uranium sufficiently enriched to power reactors for energy production. With varying degrees of success, the U.S. government is pressing the IAEA to turn itself more and more into an international police force targeting semicolonial countries deemed insufficiently compliant with imperialist demands to abrogate their sovereignty and treaty rights. Washington’s campaign to replace Mohamed ElBaradei as head of the IAEA is part of its efforts to accelerate that organization’s police work on behalf of the billionaire families that rule the United States.

The Iranian government has come under increasing pressure, above all from Washington, to agree to unconditional inspection of all its nuclear facilities and to abandon nuclear power development. This program was initiated with imperialism’s aid and blessings under the pro-imperialist dictatorship of the shah, who was overthrown in the 1979 revolutionary upsurge. London, Paris, and Berlin have joined in this squeeze on Tehran, regardless of the disputes between them and Washington over how fast and how far to go in tightening the vise.

Wiping out Iran’s nuclear potential remains Israel’s top strategic objective, prompting frequent references to Tel Aviv’s 1981 air strike that destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor at Osirak. Tehran’s nuclear facilities are more geographically spread out than were Baghdad’s—a lesson learned from the 1981 strike. Only when Washington believes the odds of success are high, or that is has no other choice, will it initiate military action against Iran, or agree to Tel Aviv doing the dirty work. As shown by the virtually simultaneous destruction of Iraqi antiaircraft positions in the opening hours of the 2003 war, however, U.S. special operations forces can locate and take out widely dispersed installations with devastating speed and effectiveness. They have long ago begun the initial reconnaissance and other steps inside Iran to prepare for such an eventuality.

The U.S. rulers are now using the pretext of a “terrorist” bombing in Beirut to demand that Damascus take action against émigré Baathist forces in Syria who organize and finance the flow of weapons and combatants into Iraq; that the Assad regime continue its de facto acceptance of U.S. military operations inside Syrian territory along the Iraqi border; that Syrian troops be withdrawn from Lebanon; and that the Syrian government cease efforts to obtain “weapons of mass destruction.” Washington is using its military successes in Afghanistan and Iraq to press any regime in the region that refuses to toe the line. The massive presence and occupations by U.S. troops in the area increase the likelihood of more wars.

Working people should demand the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, Afghanistan, the Korean peninsula and its waters, and wherever else they are trampling on national sovereignty. And they should oppose Washington’s threats against the people of Syria, Iran, the DPRK, or any other semicolonial country.
Related articles:
Washington withdraws ambassador from Syria
Implies Syrian role in Beirut bombing escalates imperialist squeeze on Damascus

U.S. gov’t rejects talks with Tehran brokered by EU  
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