The mobilization in Washington, and actions in San Francisco and other cities the same day, are a needed response to the major escalation of the murderous U.S. war in Iraq announced on nationwide TV by President George Bush as the Militant went to press.
The billionaire families that rule the United States have no intention of walking away from their strategic economic, political, and military interests in winning the war in Iraq. Thats not how empires survive and expand. The U.S. rulers have no alternative to a long-term increase in troop levels and broadening of their military aims.
They are directly taking on armed Shiite and Sunni squads standing in the way of Washingtons goal: stabilization of a bourgeois Iraqi regime subservient to its interests. And this time, as Bush stressed, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to hunt down militias like those of Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr.
This is not a surge but the biggest escalation of the Iraq war since the U.S. invasion in March 2003. It is coupled with a substantial naval buildup in the Arab-Persian Gulfwhat Bush described as the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region.
The only serious alternative would be immediate withdrawal, which no influential voice from either party in the U.S. ruling class proposes.
Plans by the Democratic majority in Congress for a symbolic vote to oppose the new deployment is a charade, as is the bluster by some Democrats about capping troop levels or limiting funds for added troops. As Sen. Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, since Congress voted for the invasion, it must leave the conduct of war to the Commander-in-Chief. Any other course, said Biden, would be unconstitutional!
Sen. Edward Kennedys talk of cutting off money for more U.S. troops is bombast too. Neither Democrats nor Republicans in Congress have ever cut funds for the U.S. military in the middle of a war. To the contrary, the Democrats have backed the Iraq war at every juncture since voting to back the invasion in 2003. In the Democrats televised response to Bushs January 10 address, Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin even had the imperial gall to boast that America has given the Iraqis so much…. We Americans have protected Iraq [!] when no one else would.
The escalation of the conflict in Iraq, like the ongoing occupation of Afghanistan and recent assault by U.S. Special Forces in Somalia, is part of Washingtons long war against terrorism. Under that banner, the U.S. rulers are leading their imperialist allies in a decades-long conflict targeting working people and any government that doesnt bow to their dictates.
The underlying crisis is not conjunctural. It does not lie in specific policies of this or that president or Congress. It did not begin with 9/11. It is rooted in the downward tendency of the bosses profit ratesrenewed in the late 1960s and early 70s with the exhaustion of the post-World War II capitalist boomand the sharpening economic competition and political conflicts among imperialist powers over redivision of world markets. What is unfolding is the accelerating crisis of the capitalist world order.
The stepped-up imperialist war has the same source as the U.S. rulers assaults on workers at homefrom immigration raids, to cop brutality, to the productivity drive that has resulted in 48 workers killed over the past year in coal mines alone. Working people resisting these attacks by the employers and their government have a big stake opposing the bosses wars abroad as well.
Now is the time to mobilize support among students, workers, farmers, and others whose interests are diametrically opposed to the rulers war against working people at home and abroad. Lets fill as many buses, trains, vans, and cars as possible and maximize the turnout for the January 27 marches to demand:
Bring the troops home now!
Biggest escalation of war since U.S. invasion of Iraq
Well over 20,000 additional troops to be deployed
Behind partisan rhetoric, bipartisan support for war is firm
Fill buses for January 27 march in Washington against Iraq war
U.S. forces bomb southern Somalia
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