Friday, April 29, 2016

Ken Livingstone and Jew hatred

Livingstone this week pointed out that he considered Hitler part of the Zionist pantheon.

An amalgam shared by many on the petty bourgeois left, though they usually don't dumb it down as harshly as Red Ken.

Most simply promote the canard that Zionists conspired with Hitler's government before World War 2.

From 2002:

Friday, April 15, 2016

"Bouteldja is a master of racial baiting"

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Postone on Jew-hatred and Israel

P 326

Moishe Postone (with Timothy Brennan)

Labor and the Logic of Abstraction:

An Interview

South Atlantic Quarterly 108:2, Spring 2009

DOI 10.1215/00382876-2008-035 © 2009 Duke University Press

Zizek on Israel’s anti-Semitism, however, is no longer theold ethnic anti-Semitism; its focus is displaced from the Jews as an ethnic group to the State of Israel: “in the program of the Europe of the twenty-first century, the State of Israel occupies exactly the position that the name ‘Jew’ occupied in the Europe beforethe cut of 1939-45.”5 In this way, today’s anti-Semitism can present itself as anti-anti- Semitism, full of solidarity with the victims of the Holocaust; the reproach is just that,in our era of the gradual dissolution of all limits, of the fluidization of all traditions, the Jews wanted to built their own clearly delimited Nation-State.

P. 253

Zizek, The Parallax View

©2006 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Marxist Update audience last week

Saturday, April 9, 2016

"The answer to the problems you pose is not deportations, but coming together to fight for the needs of all."

SWP presidential candidate at a Trump rally recently:

“It’s an outrage that people in this country have to work for just $8 or $10 an hour. You can’t survive on those wages,” a Teamsters union truck driver told Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate Alyson Kennedy as she campaigned among those attending a rally for Donald Trump at Nathan Hale High School in West Allis, Wisconsin, April 3. “But we have to worry about the people in this country first. We have people without jobs, people without health care or insurance.”

“I worked as a coal miner in Utah in a mine where the majority of workers were from Mexico,” Kennedy said. “We organized and fought to make it a union mine, to raise wages and get protection from the bosses’ disregard for our safety. The answer to the problems you pose is not deportations, but coming together to fight for the needs of all.

“We face a basic conflict between the owning class, who use the government to defend their profits, and the working class,” Kennedy said. “We need a social revolution. Working people must unite and take political power.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The "Israel Lobby" canard

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen has written several books whose politics I would not dream of defending.

Right now I am reading his 2013 book, The Devil That Never Dies: The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism.  This was motivated by the reading I did around my review of Caleb Maupin’s book Satan at the Fountainhead: The Israel Lobby and the Financial Crisis [my posts on that tome are here and here].

(Two useful articles from The Militant in the "Israel Lobby" can be found here and here.)

Goldhagen has this to say about the Israel Lobby canard:

…. Hezbollah’s very first Facebook posting was in English so the entire world would not mistake Nasrallah and Hezbollah as anything but inveterate, eliminationist antisemites: “O Allah, Please Clean This World From Jewish Contamination.”5 The notion of Jews controlling the United States was a standard Nazi one and has been a staple of antisemites ever since. The view today that if not for Jews’ insidious control of the United States, the United States itself would be a better country, the Middle East would be far better off, and the world would be a better place comes also from those whose antisemitism is principally focused on the United States itself. In their widely discussed book The Israel Lobby, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt peddle such antisemitism dressed up in the garb of academic seriousness and respectability, with their invention of the bogeyman known as the Israel Lobby into which they subsume and thereby delegitimize people who vocally or in various ways materially support Israel. Indeed, their book is the best cloaked major antisemitic tract in English of the last several decades. A small sampling of the antisemitic tropes it draws upon or echoes: Jews working collectively in concrete organizations for nefarious ends. Jewish conspiracy. Jews as fifth columnists. Jews pulling levers behind the scenes. Jews harming the broader societies in which they live. Jews starting or causing wars, in this case the attacks of 9/11, the Iraq War, and the war on terror. It is as if Mearsheimer and Walt scoured the antisemitic manual, updated any number of its most effective techniques, and dressed them up in language and tone and academic trappings—we teach at Chicago and Harvard—for respectability. Their hollow denials that they are antisemites and their empty self-presentation as brave truth-tellers have since been definitively exposed as false by Mearsheimer’s unabashed endorsement (and Walt’s support of Mearsheimer in this matter) of the blatantly antisemitic book of Gilad Atzmon, one of Britain’s most prominent jazz musicians and most notorious antisemites. Atzmon, born in Israel, draws a link between the most famous antisemitic characters of literature and Jews of today: “Fagin is the ultimate plunderer, a child exploiter and usurer. Shylock is the blood-thirsty merchant. With Fagin and Shylock in [a person’s] mind, the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians seems to be just a further event in an endless hellish continuum.” Given the long historical malignant character he attributes to Jews, Atzmon, not surprisingly, blames the Jews for Hitler’s persecution of them and, in an almost unsurpassable flight of hate-filled raving, accuses the Jews of using the Holocaust as “a license to kill, to flatten, no nuke, to wipe, to rape, to loot and to ethnically cleanse. It made vengeance and revenge into a Western value.”6 In short, according to Mearsheimer and Walt, Jews, and the non-Jews they have co-opted or allied themselves with (Mearsheimer and Walt are careful to formally insist some non-Jews are also part of the Israel Lobby), insidiously control American foreign-policy making, betray American interests, duped the United States into launching an unnecessary war against Iraq, thereby impoverish the United States, produce enmity for it across many countries, wreak destruction halfway around the world, and cause the death of a large number of innocent Americans. Indeed, in an earlier article—before they sanitized their presentation for the book—Mearsheimer and Walt wrote even more openly in the vein of antisemites past and present. They warned in ominous tones about the power of “Israel and its American supporters”: “If their efforts to shape US policy succeed, Israel’s enemies will be weakened or overthrown, Israel will get a free hand with the Palestinians, and the US will do most of the fighting, dying, rebuilding and paying.”

…. Jews—conniving, powerful, working behind the scenes in conspiratorial concert—ultimately serve their putative Israeli master, betraying their homeland and their neighbors. But there is actually no such thing as the Israel Lobby (which Mearsheimer and Walt, to cover their backs, concede, buried in their book). There are many supporters of Israel—indeed, by far and away most Americans are, with five times more siding with Israel in March 2013 than with the Palestinians (64 percent to 12 percent)—and Jewish Americans, who comprise less than 2 percent of the American people, generally and strongly support Israel. This should not be surprising as Israel has been for decades the lone genuine democracy in the Middle East and a staunch American ally, including during the Cold War. As has long been known and discussed, Israel’s supporters, given their preponderance in a democracy and their passion for the beleaguered, existentially threatened democracy with which many sympathize and identify, have no doubt been influential in Washington. But most of them do not formally or informally belong to a lobby, which in American politics is an organization or group of organizations that seek to directly influence governmental officials and which has the clear connotation of something not in the public interest, or worse. Yet Mearsheimer and Walt deploy this bogeyman concept of the Israel Lobby as their principal conspiracy trope that is an update on the notorious antisemitic tract The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (discussed at length in chapter 9). They paint a picture of American foreign-policy making that is fantastical, bearing hardly any relationship to what actually goes on or went on, with Martin Peretz, the former owner of the New Republic, getting more references in a book that concentrates overwhelmingly on the causes of the Iraq War than does the powerful Secretary of Defense and architect of the war, Donald Rumsfeld, who is mentioned on only five pages! Karl Rove, the behind-the-scenes architect of George Bush’s presidency and overwhelmingly considered to have been Bush’s major political strategist, always with an eye on doing what was best for Bush and Republicans, especially with safeguarding their domestic agenda and electoral fortunes, gets one reference—as many as I do! Vice President Dick Cheney was, by political analysts across the political spectrum, widely considered the most powerful person (aside from or even including Bush) in the administration. Add the journalist Jeffrey Goldberg to Peretz and me, and Mearsheimer and Walt’s Israel Lobby has roughly as many index references to us as to Cheney.

Indeed, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Karl Rove, and even Bush himself were all deeply enmeshed in the American and Republican power establishment, all mindful and most intimately connected to America’s financial and economic corporate powers and leaders, especially the mighty defense establishment and critical oil industry, with its fortunes intimately tied to the Middle East. The notion that the hard-bitten practitioners of power, and all the powerful economic and political interests they represented and wanted to safeguard, were all duped by a bunch of Jews into launching a massive war they otherwise would not have wanted—and which they therefore would have known would damage their own political fortunes massively—is on its face ludicrous and can be made, as Mearsheimer and Walt demonstrate in their book, its fake sober tones notwithstanding, only by suspending reality and substituting for it a parallel antisemitic unreality....


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

"Panama Papers" - on scandals and revelations

The petty bourgeois left interwebs are salivating this morning over the so-called "Panama Papers" scandal. Another get-rich-quick fantasy that exposures of 'greed' will build a movement?

A 2013 article:

Whistleblowers neither heroes
nor traitors for working class 


The Barack Obama administration’s prosecution of Pfc. Bradley Manning on charges of “aiding the enemy” and leaks by Edward Snowden, a contractor who worked at the National Security Agency, revealing the agency’s wide-ranging data-mining programs, have sparked debate in bourgeois politics over whether these individuals are whistleblower heroes or traitors.

The vast majority of the propertied rulers and their Democratic and Republican politicians say Manning and Snowden are traitors giving aid to Islamist enemies of the U.S. They are hard after them because the leaks exposed some of their secrets, caused them diplomatic difficulties and exacerbated distrust in their government. They want to set a strong precedent to deter others from doing likewise.

On June 21 federal prosecutors unsealed charges against Snowden filed in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., including violation of the Espionage Act of 1917 for “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person.” The charges carry a total of 30 years in prison. U.S. officials are seeking to extradite Snowden, who had fled to Hong Kong before releasing his leaks and flew to Moscow June 23.

The liberal New York Times and rightist Patrick Buchanan agree the leakers should face jail time for their actions, but also say they are concerned about a growing Big Brother in Washington. Manning and Snowden are touted as heroes by some self-styled revolutionaries on the left, a layer of libertarians and some rightists.

Sen. Rand Paul, a libertarian from Kentucky, said Snowden is “practicing civil disobedience” in what he calls “a noble gesture.”

“He is a hero!” Michael Savage, a well-known conservative talk-show host, said. “He should be winning a Nobel Prize for what he did.”

“Manning should be renowned as a hero,” Nicole Colson wrote in the International Socialist Organization’s paper Socialist Worker.

Manning’s leaks are “one of the most heroic and courageous actions in recent memory,” the Revolutionary Communist Party’s paperRevolution wrote in December 2012.

Government efforts to punish whistleblowers are against the interests of the working class and should be opposed. But for working people, Manning and Snowden are neither heroes nor traitors.

Those who think that secret revelations from whistleblowers are the way workers find out about how capitalism and its war machine operates, or inspire mass action in defense of political rights, sow naïve and dangerous illusions about the source of the problem and the road to its solution.

Manning and Snowden act on the premise that revelations will make some capitalist politicians come to their senses and do the right thing. “Obama’s campaign promises and election gave me faith that he would lead us toward fixing the problems,” Snowden said in an online forum on the London-based Guardian newspaper website June 17. “Unfortunately, shortly after assuming power, he closed the door.”

But the Democrats and Republicans act in the class interests of the propertied rulers in both their domestic and foreign policy. They won’t “wake up.”

There has never been a time in modern class society where the ruling class doesn’t target its enemies, competitors and ultimately the working class, which in times of mass class battles the capitalists recognize as the main threat to their exploitative and oppressive rule.

Under bourgeois democracy, exposure of their methods may cause them to pause, but after a bit they just start up again. And they only pause under pressure of mass working-class action.

In 1973 the Socialist Workers Party launched a political campaign and lawsuit that exposed decades of FBI spying and disruption against the labor movement, Black rights fighters and the party, and pushed the snoops back. It succeeded because it built on the mass proletarian mobilizations that overthrew Jim Crow segregation and millions-strong demonstrations opposing the U.S. imperialist war against Vietnamese workers and farmers fighting for independence.

The Obama administration’s drive to prosecute whistleblowers and journalists who publish leaks aims to strengthen the rulers’ increasing use of executive power shielded from public view.

At the same time, they push for “transparency” about the activities of the working class — such as campaign disclosure laws aimed at parties like the SWP and more broadly against workers taking the road to independent political action.

No ‘big brother’

Media coverage on the bourgeois left as well as in the libertarian rightist press has been conjuring up conspiracy theories about a looming “Big Brother” or “1984” — a book by George Orwell that paints a picture of a world with an all-powerful state and no rights.

But there is no push for Big Brother repression. Spying by the propertied rulers isn’t currently directed against the entire population, nor is it primarily aimed today at working-class militants. The data-mining programs Snowden leaked details on are aimed at Islamist-jihadist terrorists.

Down the road, the rulers will use all the power of its spies and cops, night riders, Pinkerton-style thugs, National Guard and other violent means in an effort to smash workers’ struggles — this is what class battles teach.

Today the bosses are dealing blows to workers without having to resort to overt state violence. They are using lockouts, bankruptcies, government cutbacks and union-busting efforts to deal bitter blows to our wages, job conditions and social rights.

Revelations like those of Manning and Snowden do not point a road forward for the working class. They foster conspiracy theories and paranoia that divert and demobilize us.

What workers need is to fight against the bosses and their government, see the need to do so independent of their political parties, whether it be for jobs, an end to imperialist wars or in defense of our political rights. These experiences will give us the confidence, political clarity and feeling of self-worth needed to overthrow the capitalists and build a workers and farmers government.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Ban the "F-Bomb"

This article got me thinking about the free and easy use of the fascist label on the left.

Farrell Dobbs in 1961: would be a serious mistake to raise a hue and cry against incipient fascism, as though the ultimate danger were already upon us, and attempt to substitute ourselves for the masses in taking the issue to the streets here and now. National politics still remains class collaborationist in mass character, despite the growing restiveness of labor and its allies. While this class political equilibrium remains operative, fascism can't make significant headway. When the present equilibrium does become upset through a labor breakaway from capitalist politics, it does not necessarily follow that capitalism will resort forthwith to fascist measures. An attempt might be made, as class political antagonism sharpen, to establish bonapartist rule, perhaps through a military dictatorship based on the present vast interlocking alliance between the officer corps and the monopoly capitalists. Fascist trends would receive strong new impulses at such a conjuncture, but the ultimate showdown with fascism would still not be at hand. Therefore our propaganda, in addition to explaining the meaning of fascism and educating the masses in the need to be on guard against it, must also analyze the complex interim questions of the power struggles which could be next on the agenda.

At the present time, given the class collaborationist character of national politics, the existing rightist formations simply represent vanguard polarizations on the right which play the counterpart of our vanguard role on the left. They can do little more than conduct propaganda, resorting only to isolated, small scale acts of hooliganism which often backfire against them. Since the incipient fascists are not strong enough to carry through antidemocratic actions at present, a call for mobilization against them would give the general impression of an attempt on our part to suppress freedom of speech and assembly for others. We would not only be inviting comparable attacks, both legal and extra-legal, against our own democratic rights, but we would appear to have given them justification. The truth is that we stand for freedom of speech and assembly in principle—not just for us, but for everybody. Therefore, we do not demand that the rightist movements be denied these freedoms.

Concerning the question of civil liberties, we should keep in mind that our growing reputation as a serious revolutionary tendency with a meaningful program is drawing attention not only from people becoming radicalized. The witch hunters are taking notice as well. We are beginning to draw their fire to a new degree in connection with the Cuban defense movement and there could be other new attacks. More than ever we must be on guard against any undermining of civil liberties for all, if we hope to defend our own democratic rights. To act otherwise would be to repeat the costly mistake of the Stalinists in refusing to recognize the democratic rights of their political opponents.

Let me call to your attention an article Trotsky wrote on this subject in December 1939 in the Socialist Appeal under the title, "Why I Consented to Appear Before The Dies Committee." I don't have the time to give you the background but it's worth your while to go back and do a little research on the circumstances surrounding the question of Trotsky possibly testifying before the Dies Committee, intending to use the occasion for propaganda purposes.

The questions of Stalinist dictatorship, of democratic rights under capitalism and the policy of revolutionists on civil liberties in a capitalist country like ours came up in this discussion. Trotsky wrote in the article cited, "Being an irreconcilable opponent not only of fascism but also of the present-day Comintern, I am at the same time decidedly against the suppression of either of them." He pointed out that the suppression of fascists by the capitalist government always proves fictitious. He also took note of the fact that to defend the rights of the Stalinists could help to refurbish the Comintern. "However," he said, "the question is not exhausted by this consideration. Under the conditions of the bourgeois regime, all suppression of political rights and freedom, no matter whom they are directed against in the beginning, in the end inevitably bear down upon the working class, particularly its most advanced elements. That is a law of history."

In the article Trotsky was speaking of a specific stage, the one we're in now, where we're struggling under adverse conditions against a repressive ruling class in a capitalist country. He pointed out that when the struggle intensifies into a class showdown a new factor arises, the rules of civil war, which are something else again. But concerning a situation such as ours, he stated unambiguously "the working class in the capitalist countries, threatened with their own enslavement must stand in defense of freedom for all political tendencies including their own irreconcilable enemies."

Under circumstances where the foregoing policy will be maintained, we may at times find it useful propagandistically to organize counter-demonstrations against incipient fascists. In any situation where they resort to rightist hooliganism we will take the initiative in organizing defense guards to oppose them. But our central task at this stage concerning the rightist formations is to explain the true nature of fascism in our propaganda, seeking to educate and alert the masses against it. In doing so we must keep a sense of proportion as to the immediate nature of the fascist issue, being careful to direct major attention to the primary questions of the day.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Immigrant workers in the GDR

From the 25 December 1992 issue

Malcolm X's views on women

From the 25 December 1992 issue

“But now I wish that LaVoy’s family and the mothers and wives of people killed by the cops in New York could communicate and see that they have something in common.”

A comrade summed up this article nicely:

A “white” “rancher”—according to some, a doubly reactionary, racist category—now understands Black Lives Matters.  Read the last couple of paragraphs to understand how people’s political ideas are changed by their experiences.

Oregon ranch land protesters could be tried in 2 states at once


In a decision that makes a mockery of the constitutional right to legal counsel, a federal judge March 22 ruled that Ammon Bundy and six other participants in the January occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon could face prosecution in separate cases in both Oregon and Nevada at the same time. They are part of a group of 26 people indicted for their roles in the non-violent occupation.

Bundy organized the occupation to protest the jailing of Harney County, Oregon, cattle ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond for a second time on the same frame-up charges of arson and to draw attention to federal policies — often in the name of protecting endangered species — that are driving many small ranchers and farmers off the land.

The seven face frame-up charges ranging from “conspiracy to impede” a federal officer to “possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in federal facilities” in connection with the Malheur occupation. After those charges were filed, they were then indicted on similar criminal charges, along with 12 others, for joining an April 2014 protest in Nevada that blocked federal agents from confiscating 400 head of cattle belonging to Cliven Bundy, Ammon’s father.

In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Anna Brown in Portland, Oregon, said that Ammon Bundy, Ryan Payne and the others could be sent to Nevada April 13 to be arraigned there and then returned to Oregon within 10 days.

Payne’s attorney in Nevada, Shari Kaufman, told the judge she can’t have meaningful preparation with her client with constant shuttling back and forth.

Federal prosecutor Craig Gabriel said it’s not “the government’s doing” if the trials are simultaneous, but the fault of the accused for their part in “crimes that were committed here and in Nevada.”

“This is not a fair fight,” Ammon Bundy’s attorney, Mike Arnold, said by phone March 24. “There are teams of FBI agents working around the clock. They have unlimited resources. Because the defendants have little money, we have to get permission from the court to hire a single investigator.”

“The point of the prosecution is to make an example of them and to chill future protests,” Arnold said.

While opinions on the wisdom of the Malheur occupation are mixed, opposition to the frame-up of the Hammonds is widespread among small ranchers, farmers and other working people in rural areas of Oregon and beyond.

“A lot of people thought Ammon went about it the only way he could, given that other avenues to win justice for the Hammonds had all been exhausted,” Harney County rancher Erin Maupin told the Militant. “Others support the sentiment 100 percent but thought he went about it the wrong way. And there are some people in town that think it was evil.” Maupin and her husband, who grew up with Steven Hammond, have a small ranch with 350 mother cows.

Dwight and Steven Hammond, father and son cattle ranchers, had a running dispute with federal land agencies that for years have wanted them to sell their land to expand the Malheur refuge.

In April 2014 they were found guilty of arson under the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. They had set controlled fires on their own land — a common practice by ranchers and federal land agencies alike — to combat invasive juniper trees and block wildfires. The government says this burned a tiny amount of federal land.

The judge imposed sentences of three months for Dwight Hammond and one year for Steven Hammond. Prosecutors successfully appealed, saying that under the 1996 act the required minimum sentence was five years. The Hammonds returned to prison Jan. 4.

Small ranchers change their views

“I used to support mandatory minimum laws. It came across as do you want murderers and rapists running around,” Maupin said. “And then you see it applied to the Hammonds.”

“Every step we take we’re told by our political representatives that there’s nothing anybody can do for the Hammonds,” she said. “That we have to change the mandatory minimum laws — for the next person.”

“We’ve been pretty sheltered out here,” Maupin added. “What boggles my mind is how the media twists everything around.” Maupin was one of hundreds of ranchers that attended community meetings during the occupation. She is widely known for speaking out for the release of the Hammonds. “Then I’d go home and watch the TV news report and it was like they were at a different meeting than I was.”

On Jan. 26 Oregon State Police and the FBI ambushed and killed Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, a leader of the occupation, and arrested Bundy and others who were on their way to a community meeting 100 miles from the refuge.

After Finicum was killed, the FBI kept up highway roadblocks for two more weeks. Some ranchers report being stopped, thrown on the ground and handcuffed with the FBI pointing automatic weapons at them before letting them go.

Because of these experiences many ranchers and other working people are changing their views. Maupin used to see people protesting police brutality in big cities as rioters. “But now I wish that LaVoy’s family and the mothers and wives of people killed by the cops in New York could communicate and see that they have something in common.”

The Militant - April 11, 2016 -- Oregon ranch land protesters could be tried in 2 states at once

Sartre, enemy of petty bourgeois Jew-haters

Bouteldja adopts the old French colonialist slogan of "Shoot Sartre,"
but says he now needs to be "shot" not because he supported Algerian independence, but because he was "White" and supported Israel's existence.

(Google Translate):

....1. "Shoot Sartre"  : the title of the prologue is an extreme right slogan of the time of the war of Algeria. Sartre had taken up the cause of the FLN and beyond to "the wretched of the earth." He was hated by the extreme right and the bourgeoisie "white." The problem, in the eyes of the author, it is, however, took up the cause of the creation of the State of Israel: "For beyond his empathy for the colonized and their legitimate violence, for him, nothing will dethrone the legitimacy of Israel's existence "(p. 16). She warned us that she drew "in the history and present of North African immigration, Arab, Berber and Muslim," and apparently the question of "legitimacy of Israel's existence" is a prominent place since, although ideologically fought alongside the natives around the world, Sartre remains irreversibly a "white." She says in effect: "Sartre died anti-colonialist and Zionist. He will die white. This will not be the least of his paradoxes. In this, it is an allegory of the French left post war "(p. 19). The "French left," she was "anti-colonialist and Zionist"? Yes, since Sartre embodied the "French left." Given the legacy of a "left" government whose story was that of a succession of betrayals, Sartre embodies the "left" revolutionary postwar. Now it's left a "white", asserts the author, since Sartre died "anti-colonialist and Zionist." Having taken a position continuously for the coexistence of two states, one Israeli, the other Palestinian, Sartre was a "White". Period.

George Novack

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Case of the Legless Veteran

"There is no easy road forward there or here, but there is no other road."

U.S. imperialism out of Mideast!

Today’s refugee crisis — the displacement by war of millions in Syria and Iraq as well as working people fleeing depression conditions wreaking havoc in North Africa — is a symptom of the world crisis of capitalism and the result of years of imperialist military assaults in the Mideast.

In their quest to impose a new imperialist order — as the one put together by the victors of two World Wars unravels — the U.S. rulers have forged an alliance with Moscow and Tehran that has resulted in shoring up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Washington, which invaded Iraq twice in the last quarter-century and has troops in Afghanistan, is stepping up bombing of areas in Iraq and Syria where Islamic State took advantage of the coming apart of those countries to establish its repressive, anti-working-class rule.

The road forward in that region, as in the imperialist countries, is to unite workers and farmers regardless of nationality or religious belief, and gain the confidence and experience to be able to replace the capitalist rulers, including forces like Islamic State. This can only be done by forging communist parties rooted in the working class that draw on the continuity of the international revolutionary movement since the time of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels.

Workers in the U.S. and around the world need to demand that Washington and its allies get their troops and warplanes out of the Mideast. They are an obstacle to working people in the region building the leadership they need to fight against the Syrian regime, Islamic State and other oppressors and exploiters.

There is no easy road forward there or here, but there is no other road. The example set by workers and farmers in Cuba shows it is possible. With a proletarian leadership of the highest caliber, they made a socialist revolution nearly 60 years ago and have defended it ever since, while giving solidarity to workers from Algeria and Angola to Vietnam and Venezuela.

The labor movement in the U.S. and other imperialist centers needs to reject attempts by the bosses and their political parties to pit us against each other based on where we were born, our religion or the color of our skin. We need to see each other as fellow workers — not refugees, immigrants, native born — and fight together to organize unions, demand public works jobs programs, fight government scapegoating attacks on Muslims and mosques and oppose imperialist war. It is on this path that we can build the kind of internationalist proletarian movement of new men and women capable of replacing dog-eat-dog capitalism with a society based on values of human solidarity.

Cubans "damned sure were going to fight"

From The Militant:

April 12, 1991

In an interview published in the March 11New Republic, [Gen. Norman] Schwarzkopf said the greatest lesson of the 1983 U.S. invasion of Grenada was “never underestimate your enemy.”

“What started as a highly conventional operation went sour right away,” he said. “And it went sour because of the assumption that the Cubans weren’t going to fight. We had 800 Cubans on the island who were well armed and damned sure were going to fight.”

The Cubans had volunteered to help build a public airport in Grenada during the 1979-1983 revolution led by Grenada Prime Minister Maurice Bishop. Bishop’s overthrow and murder by a Stalinist clique led by Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard handed Washington an opportunity to invade and assert its domination over the island. The Cuban construction workers, attacked by the invading U.S. troops, fought back despite overwhelming odds.

SWP vice president candidate visits Ridge