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Clinton and Obama: Failures on War and Global Warming
by STEVEN ARGUE
Sunday Feb 10th, 2008 10:51 AM
On the biggest question facing humanity, human caused global warming, both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are ignoring the urgent proposals of global warming experts and instead put forward conservative proposals of carbon credit trading for big corporations and proposals for so-called “cleaner” fuels for cars. Carbon credit trading, giving big corporations the “right” to buy and sell the “right” to pollute, will undermine the ability to pass other legislation that can better curb carbon pollution. And the “cleaner” bio-fuels being proposed make no substantial difference because it takes energy involving carbon emissions to grow the plants used to make bio-fuels. In addition, rainforests that would help remove global warming causing carbon from the atmosphere are being cleared to grow bio-fuels. To make matters worse, converting food-stuffs and croplands to bio-fuels increases world food prices, causing increased world hunger.
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Clinton and Obama: Failures on War and Global Warming

By STEVEN ARGUE

Today, every national academy of science of the industrialized world recognizes human caused global warming as a fact. These include the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences who explicitly use the word "consensus" on the issue.

The problem of global warming is one that will, and is, devastating the planet’s environment, causing mass extinction of species while also destroying agricultural and habitable land through rising oceans, more severe hurricanes, droughts, more unpredictable weather, increases in tropical diseases, year round freezing weather with a potential ice age in the northern hemisphere combined with higher temperatures closer to the equator, and the potential of runaway global warming with the melting of the ocean’s methane hydride that could actually cause the extinction of the human species.

Despite the severity of the problem, and despite the United States being the biggest contributor to global warming in the world, the U.S. government and corporate leaders continue to do worse than nothing, through blocking and sabotaging all potential solutions for the past fifty years up until the present. This is due to the massive profits that continue to be made by the big oil corporations, and the political strength they have in being able to buy the politicians in Washington.

On the biggest question facing humanity, human caused global warming, both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are ignoring the urgent proposals of global warming experts and instead put forward conservative proposals of carbon credit trading for big corporations and proposals for so-called “cleaner” fuels for cars. Carbon credit trading, giving big corporations the “right” to buy and sell the “right” to pollute, will undermine the ability to pass other legislation that can better curb carbon pollution. And the “cleaner” bio-fuels being proposed make no substantial difference because it takes energy involving carbon emissions to grow the plants used to make bio-fuels. In addition, rainforests that would help remove global warming causing carbon from the atmosphere are being cleared to grow bio-fuels. To make matters worse, converting food-stuffs and croplands to bio-fuels increases world food prices, causing increased world hunger.

What is really needed, as opposed to the pro-oil industry measures of Obama and Clinton, is an immediate emergency program to begin the process of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 through converting to green technologies such as solar, energy conservation, and eliminating the combustion engine by going electric and cleaning up the grid. Such a program would also create jobs and could be paid for through cutting the military budget. To develop this program it will be important to nationalize the energy industries under the democratic control of society in order to run them for human and environmental needs, and to eliminate private energy’s corrupting influence on politics, where they promote policies of war and pollution. Socialists offer these real solutions. Meanwhile, the Democrats and Republicans have made human caused global warming a reality by promoting the policies that have caused it, even though the problem was known 50 years ago. Once again in this election, the Democrats have offered no real solutions to this problem that we are running out of time to address.

Just as the energy industries are promoting the destruction of the planet through carbon emissions, they, along with the powerful weapons industries, promote the mass murder of war as well.

In September 2007, when asked if he would have U.S. troops out of Iraq by 2013 Barack Obama said "I believe that we should have all our troops out by 2013, but I don't want to make promises not knowing what the situation's going to be three or four years out."

Similarly Hillary Clinton Said, “I agree with Barack” ("The Democratic Presidential Debate on MSNBC", New York Times 9/26/07).

The U.S. must leave by air, sea, and land as quickly as possible. Citing fear of violence and civil war is the oldest trick in the dirty book of imperialist oppression. U.S. imperialism has created a horrible situation, but that is no excuse to stay, and U.S. troops, Halliburton, etc. are only making matters worse. Over a million Iraqis are dead. These deaths are not just caused by the civil war that the U.S. has ignited, nor are they just caused by the death-squad government that the U.S. has put in power. U.S. guns and bombers are also the direct cause of a large number of deaths. Iraq needs to be turned over to the Iraqi people through immediate withdrawal.

Not only do Obama and Clinton make no promise to get out of Iraq, both have both voted for war appropriations. This puts them both in the position of having directly supported the war.

In addition, Clinton voted to invade Iraq. Obama was not yet in the Senate, so he didn’t vote on that resolution. Yet on the verge of the U.S. war of aggression against Iraq Barack Obama repeated Bush’s lies at an anti-war rally stating, “He [Saddam Hussein] has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity.” (Obama, 10/2002 Speech, Federal Plaza)

Last year Hillary Clinton stated she has no remorse for her murderous decision of voting to invade Iraq saying, "Obviously, I've thought about that a lot in the months since. No, I don't regret giving the president authority because at the time it was in the context of weapons of mass destruction, grave threats to the United States, and clearly, Saddam Hussein had been a real problem for the international community for more than a decade." (Hillary Clinton, “No regret on Iraq Vote”, CNN.Com)

In trying to let themselves off the hook many Democrats claim that Bush "did not fairly represent intelligence". Feeble cries by these politicians today that their votes for war weren't their fault because they were lied to by Bush not only make them look stupid, they are an insult to the intelligence of the American people.

While the Democrats helped promote the lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that Iraq had no right to defend itself, Liberation News pointed out that it is the United States that has the weapons of mass destruction. Instead of war, we supported the right of Iraq to acquire the weapons necessary to defend themselves from U.S. aggression. There can be little doubt that if Iraq had acquired those weapons they might not be in the mess they are now.

Yet for the Democrats a Republicans Iraqi weapons were never the real motive for mass murder in Iraq. The capitalist ruling class, and their Democrat and Republican representatives, thought that they could use their superior military power to quickly move into Iraq and establish by force a stable neo-colonial puppet regime, and then make massive profits from the privatization of the Iraqi economy, especially oil. It is the failures of this imperialist plan, in the face of Iraqi resistance and growing unpopularity at home, that has forced some Democrats to pretend to distance themselves from the same Bush policies that they actually support.

Just as Liberation News opposes the U.S. occupation and corporate looting of Iraq, we also denounced the starvation blockade that was carried out through the UN by the Bill Clinton administration. That blockade cost the lives of about a million people, many of them children. While the number of deaths was partly due to the capitalist nature of Iraqi economy, and a socialist economy like that of Cuba could have made sure that everyone in Iraq had food, blame for this mass murder should also be put on the Bill Clinton administration. Likewise, it was this Clinton starvation blockade that also weakened Iraq for the Bush invasion.

Today, while the U.S. occupation of Iraq has murdered well over a million people and the U.S. starvation blockade of Iraq murdered a million or more, the U.S. government and its puppets in Iraq had the nerve to put Saddam Hussein on trial, and execute him, for propaganda purposes. Yet the worst crimes of the Saddam Hussein regime were also carried out when he was directly backed by the United States. In the 1980's the U.S. was giving massive military assistance to Iraq to help Saddam Hussein commit genocide against Kurds and carry out a bloody war with Iran at a time when Saddam Hussein was being used as an asset of U.S. imperialism in the Middle East. Likewise, the CIA helped Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party come to power, supplying them with the names of 5,000 socialists and labor leaders that the Ba'athists subsequently rounded up and executed.

Yet to those who claimed that an invasion of Iraq would be a chance for the U.S. to finally set things straight and set up a democracy in Iraq, Liberation News responded before the U.S. invasion saying:

"In the 1970s Iraq nationalized its oil fields. This helped the Iraqi people by taking a chunk of the profits made off of oil out of the hands of the international oil monopolies and instead keeping them in Iraq. This money helped pay for free healthcare and education. As such this was a socialist measure carried out by Saddam Hussein's capitalist government. It was also a measure that stood up to the interests of the rich and powerful nations. For both reasons, socialists supported the nationalization of Iraqi oil while those measures infuriated the imperialists...

"While defending Iraq against imperialist attack, and supporting their right to defend themselves, socialists also recognize that Saddam Hussein is a capitalist leader and that the Iraqi people have their own scores to settle with him. Yet any government set up by a US occupation army will not be democratic and will only lead to the privatization of the resources that American oil monopolies intend to steal..."

"U.S. imperialism will never solve the question of women's liberation in the Middle East. Unlike all of the US supported governments and forces in the Arab World, Iraqi women have many rights found nowhere else in the Arab World except in the Asian republics of the former Soviet Union. Over 50% of Iraqi doctors are women. Iraqi women are allowed to walk unescorted in the streets. They are allowed to drive. Iraqi women can even freely criticize men. In addition Iraqi women have the right to work and control their own funds. This is in stark contrast to the treatment of women under the repressive U.S. backed governments of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia where women have no rights what-so-ever.

"The U.S. ruling class hates governments like Iraq, Libya, and Venezuela who use the profits of their oil resources partly to benefit the people with social programs. Likewise, they love governments like that of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait that strip the people of all their rights and keep the oil profits in the hands of the international oil monopolies and their corrupt local servants. Today in the United States we face unemployment, homelessness, and a lack of health care. The billions of dollars the U.S. will squander on killing Iraqis to steal their resources should be spent to benefit the working class and poor of the United States instead." -From Liberation News: What Is Socialism, and Why We Oppose The Invasion of Iraq

What was predicted is reality. Those predictions were not from a crystal ball. They were accurate because they were based on the past behavior of U.S. imperialism. Today in Iraq the U.S. has set up a puppet Islamic government with functioning death squads and torture chambers. Socialists have been excluded from participating in elections and unarmed demonstrators have been shot down and murdered in the streets by U.S. troops and troops of the puppet Iraqi government. The puppet Islamic government also opposes women's rights and women's rights have deteriorated dramatically since the U.S. invasion. The rebuilding of basic infrastructure, such as electricity, has lagged way behind what was rebuilt by Saddam Hussein after the massive U.S. bombardment of Iraq in 1992. The invasion has also set off a civil war that, combined with U.S. bombings and other murder, has killed over a million Iraqis, and forced millions more to flee their homes as refugees.

With the exception of the privatization of Iraqi oil, all of the predictions have shown themselves to be true and the only reason that Iraqi oil isn't completely under the direct control of U.S. oil monopolies now is because of the union resistance of 23,000 organized oil workers as well as the general resistance by the Iraqi people to the idea of Iraq's resources being looted by U.S. corporations.

For the working class in the United States there is ever growing frustration with a war that is costing many lives and nearly half-a-trillion dollars while needed programs for healthcare, jobs, the environment, and disaster relief do not get the funding they need. Just as the new imperialist masters of Iraq have shown a criminal lack of interest in the rebuilding the Iraqi infrastructure, so too they left the people of New Orleans to die.

Yet for the ruling class, their failure in Iraq is not in the murderous, undemocratic, and anti-woman puppet regime they have set up and the money that has been squandered in doing it, but in the failure of that regime to deliver the stability needed to acquire the oil loot. They complain that oil production in Iraq is below prewar levels and the occupation by U.S. and British troops serve as targets for the insurgency.

The words of Hillary Clinton make abundantly clear that what she opposes is not the oil war itself, but the fact that Bush is not winning it:

"Let us not confuse the leadership's failures with either the remaining mission in Iraq or the war on terrorism or with our support for our troops. What we have here is a failure of leadership to accomplish that mission. What was hailed as our shortest war has now become one of our longest. What was hailed as a model of democracy teeters on the brink of complete anarchy. What was the leadership that quickly claimed credit for success has been lethargic in the face of misjudgments and setbacks." Hillary Clinton

Likewise, Barack Obama has made similar complaints, saying that Bush should have sent more troops into Iraq.

Unlike Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, socialists see nothing good that can come from the continuation of the U.S. war against Iraq. The U.S. occupation of Iraq is doing nothing for anybody except the capitalists that are profiting from the war and the tax dollars of the American people. We call for no support to the Democrats and we demand: Iraq to the Iraqis! U.S. Out Now!

Liberation News calls for ending the war and global warming through becoming better organized; building the mass movement in the streets; striking with political demands against arms producers and polluters; hot cargoing war materials on the docks, trains, and trucks as has been done on a few occasions along the west coast; becoming ungovernable; and building towards a general strike against the war. Likewise, we support the right of military personal to refuse orders and resist these wars. We support students, such as those at UC Santa Cruz who have repeatedly driven military recruiters off campus. And we call for the nationalization of the energy industry, building the socialist movement, voting socialist, and ultimately ending imperialism and environmental destruction through a socialist revolution holding high the principles of an egalitarian socialist economy used for human and environmental needs rather than profit, an economy controlled by the people through full democratic rights and universal suffrage.


Also see:

The Case for Socialized Medicine in the United States, and the Struggle to Achieve It By STEVEN ARGUE
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/01/02/18469739.php

Closing Our Eyes Won’t Make Racial and Ethnic Inequalities Disappear
by STEVEN ARGUE
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/01/21/18473855.php

This is an article of Liberation News, subscribe free:
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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
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TITLE AUTHOR DATE
It's a Matter of What Will WorkSteven ArgueThursday Apr 17th, 2008 8:14 AM
Clinton and Obama: Failure on War and Global WarmingJesse AndersonMonday Feb 11th, 2008 7:27 PM
unjust war, illegal violenceelsaSunday Feb 10th, 2008 6:20 PM
We need more of this kind of analysis.Climate Code RedSunday Feb 10th, 2008 11:50 AM