“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx
Mar 19, 2007
Four years ago, March 2003, the United States went to war against Iraq for oil. It went to solidify the grip of big U.S. oil companies and financial interests over the whole Middle East, and to build up dozens more military bases to dominate the region.
One year from now, March 2008, the U.S. government, if it is left free to do what it wants, will continue its war on Iraq for the same reasons.
The war in Iraq is an imperialist war – a war fought to extend and reinforce U.S. domination of the whole planet. Like England before it, the U.S. today has an empire on which the sun never sets. Its financial system is overflowing with wealth stolen from the rest of the world.
That outright theft, which impoverishes billions of people, is imposed by brute military force and its threat. In mid-2003, the U.S. had 702 bases in 130 other countries – by the military’s own admission. And it has built dozens more since then – not counting the 14 permanent bases it has built in Iraq. The U.S. has so many bases that there isn’t a country in the world that doesn’t have at least one base in it or in a neighboring country.
In the 20th Century alone, the U.S. carried out more than 100 different wars, invasions, covert “interventions” and bombings of other countries.
The U.S. stands as the most militaristic power not just in the world today, but in all history – hated by most of the peoples in the rest of the world.
The population of this country pays a price for this total, permanent dependence on war.
Young – and these days not so young – working people are turned into cannon fodder. The most technologically advanced military equipment may allow U.S. soldiers to kill more people than ever before. But all that has done is to create more anger in the populations being victimized, more people ready to sacrifice themselves against the “infidel” or the “gringo,” or whatever other name people give to the hated U.S. invaders.
If we accept to be used, and to let our young people be used, like military weapons against the rest of the world, we should not complain that other people hate us with a passion. They also hate us with reason.
But the U.S. has another tradition – one which also is known – people who regularly fought against these wars. Opposition to war did not just start with Viet Nam. Every major war in the 20th century saw a sizeable opposition – including World War II, which has been rewritten as the war to stop fascism, but which was nothing but a war to take over control of the whole world.
What earns respect for this country is the willingness of the population to stand up to the government, to oppose its militaristic adventures.
There has been opposition to this war, just as to previous wars. In fact, the opposition recorded to this war today is bigger than that to the Viet Nam war. While the major demonstrations – like the one last Saturday in Washington and other cities, or the earlier ones in January – have not drawn as many people as did the biggest ones during Viet Nam, the fact is there are many more people registering their opposition in little demonstrations or vigils or weekly protests in little towns around the country.
The military itself is producing out of its own midst people ready to stand up and be counted against the war – despite the dangers involved. The army is not yet disintegrating to the extent it was in Viet Nam, forcing the U.S. to get out of that war, but neither is it the trustworthy, professionally disciplined army the government needs to carry out this vicious war.
What can we do? We can oppose this war where we are – pull together the people we know to express opposition, to talk against it, speak against it, show up on the street against it. Connect with other people doing the same thing.
Support the desire of the troops to get out of Iraq. Show them that they have real support in this country – the only support that matters – full complete opposition to the war, demanding that the troops be brought home now, not in 2009, not in 2008, but NOW.
U.S. get out of Iraq!