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Vol. 81/No. 9      March 6, 2017

(front page)

Charges Trump is tool of Moscow reflect crisis of capitalist parties

President Donald Trump held a press conference in Washington, D.C., Feb. 16 to denounce the barrage of attacks on the White House charging that the administration has ties to the Vladimir Putin government in Moscow and “to take my message straight to the people.” Trump said that despite the reporting of a “dishonest” press, his administration is a “fine-tuned machine” that is dealing with the “mess” from previous presidents.

The dispute became front-page news after someone in the so-called intelligence community leaked that there was a transcript of a phone call between retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s incoming national security adviser, and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

Trump’s bourgeois opponents, from liberal Democrats to conservatives like Sen. John McCain and the Weekly Standard’s William Kristol, joined by the owners of the New York Times, Washington Post and many other media across the country, are seeking to undercut and incapacitate the Trump administration. The middle-class left goes further. “Trump is Hitler with golden locks,” Norman Pollack writes in Counterpunch.

The heated invective is a reflection of the underlying instability of the two-party system in the United States, itself a reflection of the deepening crisis of production, trade and profitability. No wing of the Democrats or Republicans has any policy that can reverse the capitalist economic crisis — a more accurate description of the “mess” — because it’s not a question of policy, but of the workings of capitalism itself.

And it’s workers and farmers who face the music, regardless of which capitalist party sits in the White House.

Vox, a news website that promotes the anti-Trump bloc, laid out three Russian-connection allegations Feb. 15: “One centers on Russia’s interference in the election, another centers on just-resigned National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s improper contact with the Russian ambassador after the election, and a third involves potential blackmail material Russian intelligence may or may not have on the president.”

Though admitting that “none are proven,” Vox says that put together “they point to one inescapable conclusion: Trump’s unprecedented friendliness with Russia’s dictator and willingness to tolerate staff with close Russia ties has already thrown his young administration into chaos.”

Then Vox goes on to spend 18 pages on conjectures about Flynn’s phone calls, Trump’s former campaign manager’s past activities in Ukraine, and what it admits are utterly unsubstantiated charges of hanky-panky by Trump in Moscow in 2013. Along the way, the authors ascribe a scary confidence in the veracity of Washington’s spy agencies.

Trump fired back that the media barrage is nothing but “fake news.” He said he decided to ask for Flynn’s resignation because he didn’t give a fully accurate report to Vice President Mike Pence on his conversation with the Russian ambassador. Even the Times had to admit the “transcript [of Flynn’s conversation] was ambiguous enough that Mr. Trump could have justified either firing or retaining Mr. Flynn.”

After decades of Stalinist betrayal of workers’ struggles worldwide and tyranny at home — the opposite of the revolutionary course of the 1917 Russian Revolution led by V.I. Lenin and the Bolshevik Party — the Soviet Union collapsed. Washington acted as if it had won the Cold War, when in reality it had lost. It no longer could use Moscow to mislead and break the battles of the toilers. The U.S. rulers started wars from Iraq to Afghanistan to Somalia, creating chaos and devastation for working people.

While still the dominant economic and military power in the world, U.S. imperialism is in decline. In the Mideast it has sought to protect its interests by getting Moscow’s help to try to stabilize the situation.

In an interview on Fox news, conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly argued with Trump against forging closer ties to Moscow, saying “Putin’s a killer.”

“What, you think our country’s so innocent?” Trump responded, sending many pundits and capitalist politicians into conniptions. Regardless of Trump’s motivation for his comment, U.S. imperialism’s bloody interventions in the affairs of other nations, CIA and special forces-organized assassinations and economic sabotage are a fact.

Trump points out that his policy is a continuation of the “reset” with Moscow attempted by the Barack Obama administration. It’s a course backed by the majority in the propertied ruling class.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser during the Jimmy Carter administration, wrote in the Feb. 20 New York Times that Trump should “recognize that the ideal long-term solution is one in which the three militarily dominant powers — the United States, China and Russia — work together to support global stability.”

Most workers sense that it’s the McCains — and Democrats like Hillary Clinton — who call for a more bellicose stance that pose a greater danger of war. That’s one of the reasons Clinton lost the election.

But “stability” for U.S. imperialism is a pipe dream. As the worldwide crisis of capitalist production and trade continues to unfold, deepening capitalist competition means today’s alliances become tomorrow’s conflicts and wars.

A key reason Trump won a hearing among working people during the election was by admitting that they face economic ruin and promising to break with the establishment and create jobs. It’s too early to know what he will do, so far he has focused on pressing bosses for more production in the U.S. He claims “jobs have already started to surge.”

Trump headed to North Charleston, South Carolina, Feb. 17 for the rollout of the Boeing company’s Dreamliner passenger plane, just two days after the bosses defeated an attempt to unionize the plant.

“This is our house, and our house is going to remain union free!” plant manager Joan Robinson-Berry told the crowd of 2,000 employees and local officials before Trump spoke.

“God bless Boeing,” Trump said. “We’re going to fight for every last American job.”

Far from laying out a road out of the “mess,” Trump’s course, like those of administrations before him, will lead to more and deeper crises at home and abroad. The road out is for workers to break from the bosses’ two-parties and to fight for workers power. That is the course the Socialist Workers Party fights for.  
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