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Obama Lays Out Plans for Continued War
by Steven Argue
Monday Jul 14th, 2008 8:56 PM
In a July 14, 2008 New York Times Op Ed, Barack Obama says:

"As I’ve said many times, we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. We can safely redeploy our combat brigades at a pace that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010 — two years from now, and more than seven years after the war began. After this redeployment, a residual force in Iraq would perform limited missions: going after any remnants of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, protecting American service members and, so long as the Iraqis make political progress, training Iraqi security forces."

In other words, he does not plan to get all of the troops out of Iraq and he will only get most of the troops out in two years. And what does he explain he will do with these troops? Redeploy them. Redeployed where? His rhetoric has been clear: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran.

Obama goes on to call for a surge in Afghanistan as well as war in Pakistan:

"Ending the war [in Iraq] is essential to meeting our broader strategic goals, starting in Afghanistan and Pakistan [...] As president, I would pursue a new strategy, and begin by providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan. We need more troops, more helicopters [...]"
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Obama Lays Out Plans for Continued War

By Steven Argue

In a July 14, 2008 New York Times Op Ed, Barack Obama says:

"As I’ve said many times, we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. We can safely redeploy our combat brigades at a pace that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010 — two years from now, and more than seven years after the war began. After this redeployment, a residual force in Iraq would perform limited missions: going after any remnants of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, protecting American service members and, so long as the Iraqis make political progress, training Iraqi security forces."

In other words, he does not plan to get all of the troops out of Iraq and he will only get most of the troops out in two years. And what does he explain he will do with these troops? Redeploy them. Redeployed where? His rhetoric has been clear: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran.

Obama goes on to call for a surge in Afghanistan as well as war in Pakistan:

"Ending the war [in Iraq] is essential to meeting our broader strategic goals, starting in Afghanistan and Pakistan [...] As president, I would pursue a new strategy, and begin by providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan. We need more troops, more helicopters [...]"

U.S. intervention has also been very bad for the people of Pakistan. It is US intervention that has kept a long series of dictators in power there. The US has no right to intervene against those fighting that dictatorship that it labels "terrorists". Likewise, it is US intervention in support of a long series of Pakistani dictators that is the cause of Bhutto's death, brutal repression against the majority, exploitation, and poverty, all of which has resulted in rebellion against the Pakistani government. The US has already harmed the Pakistani people enough with massive aid to dictators and would do more harm by sending in troops.

NO TO OBAMA’S PROPOSED MILITARY INTERVENTION IN PAKISTAN!

Massive U.S. intervention in Afghanistan began in 1978 and continues to this day. The ongoing war in Afghanistan continues to kill thousands of Afghan civilians and cause extreme suffering due to horrendous injuries, the displacement of people from their homes and livelihoods, home invasions, sexual abuse, arbitrary arrests and torture, and the general humiliation of the Afghani people.

As this author stated for Liberation News on September 12, 2001:

“Americans watched in horror as the World Trade Center collapsed. Yet it was a horror no different from what the U.S. government has done with it's bombing of civilian populations in Iraq, Yugoslavia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Korea. The U.S. bombings of just these countries, not to mention many other U.S. acts of war, murdered millions of civilians. Terror against civilians is never justified…

“Today the clerical fascists of the Taliban rule Afghanistan. The CIA put them in power with billions of dollars in U.S. military aid. This massive U.S. intervention in Afghanistan was in opposition to the revolutionary PDPA government that came to power in 1978 on issues of promoting women’s rights and land reform. Literacy campaigns began teaching the poor and women how to read and write.

“Foreign religious fanatics and wealthy defenders of the old feudal system came together in a terrorist organization called the Mujahideen. With billions of dollars in assistance from the U.S. [starting under the Jimmy Carter presidency] these fanatical cutthroats waged a holy war that included killing women for teaching little girls how to read and write and throwing acid into the faces of women who had become liberated from the veil. The Taliban came to power as a result of this U.S. intervention.

“Will a U.S. war now against the Taliban and former CIA aid recipient Osama Bin Laden set things straight? No. It will be the people of Afghanistan who suffer death and destruction from war as the U.S. attempts to install a puppet government friendly to U.S. corporate (oil) interests.” Steven Argue, Liberation News, September 12, 2001

The Taliban was put in power by U.S. intervention. U.S. occupation today is a cause for war and continues to keep an extremely reactionary religious government in power. Afghanistan had secular governments with much wider women's rights before the U.S. began its massive intervention in Afghanistan in the 1970's. All U.S. imposed governments have been religious and anti-women. In Afghanistan, the Afghanis are better qualified to solve the problems caused by U.S. imperialism than U.S. imperialism is.

Yet rather than get out of Afghanistan Obama is proposing more troops, more helicopters, and more war.

NO TO OBAMA”S PROPOSED SURGE IN AFGHANISTAN!

U.S. OUT OF AFGHANISTAN NOW!

In addition, at AIPAC, Obama’s speech laid the groundwork for war with Iran:

“The Iranian regime supports violent extremists and challenges us across the region. It pursues a nuclear capability that could spark a dangerous arms race and raise the prospect of a transfer of nuclear know-how to terrorists. [...] The danger from Iran is grave, it is real, and my goal will be to eliminate this threat.”

A war on a major oil producing nation under the imperialist excuse of weapons of mass destruction. Sound familiar? Bush would have a good case for a charge of plagiarism against Obama.

And what will the Iranians think of more imperialist intervention?

In 1953 the CIA overthrew the democratically elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran and put the brutal dictatorship of the Shah in power. Mossadegh had plans to nationalize the Iranian oil fields, a plan that would have taken a good chunk of the oil profits out of the private control of major international oil companies. Such nationalizations have greatly helped people in other countries, such as Venezuela, where oil wealth is used to better the conditions of the poor and provide needed programs like healthcare.

The CIA sponsored overthrow of the Mossadegh government paved the way for 26 years of dictatorship under the U.S. backed Shah. Freedom of speech did not exist under the Shah, and the CIA participated in the torture of political opponents to the Shah. Meanwhile, U.S. oil corporations made massive profits from Iranian oil while the vast majority of the Iranian people lived in extreme poverty and did not benefit from the oil wealth.

The Iranian people rightly saw the Shah as a puppet of U.S. imperialism, and finally overthrew his dictatorship in 1979. Unfortunately, repression was so bad under the Shah that the only place that people could organize opposition was in the Mosques. This gave the Mullahs a tremendous advantage in taking control of the revolution. The Islamic nature of the revolution led to a deterioration of women's rights and socialists, many of whom had naively supported the Islamic Revolution, were executed by the clerical fascist state.

Despite the brutal nature of the new Iranian government, in that respect the same as the old regime the U.S. had supported, the U.S. was not satisfied. The new regime nationalized the Iranian oil fields under government control. In addition, the new government was full of anti-imperialist rhetoric and took American hostages; a natural result of 26 years of U.S. imposed dictatorship and exploitation. The U.S. government hated the Iranian revolution most for nationalizing the oil, and they feared that the Iranian Revolution may become an influence for similar anti-imperialist revolutions in the region.

As a result, the U.S. encouraged then ally, Saddam Hussein to send Iraqi troops to invade Iran. During the war, the U.S. armed both sides, but most armed Iraq and provided Iraq with military intelligence. The Iraqi invasion of Iran began on September 22, 1980 and the war continued until 1988. As a result of the war, between half million and a million and a half people died. This U.S. support to Iraq also helped enable Iraq to murder between 50,000 and 100,000 Kurds in the Anfal campaign of 1988. At the time, the U.S. corporate media was silent about this crime, and only exposed it later when U.S. alliances changed.

So U.S. intervention against Iran imposed decades of dictatorship, repression, war, exploitation, poverty, and, just in the Iran-Iraq war alone, the deaths of around a million Iranian people. Like Iraq, U.S. troops on the ground in Iran will not be treated as liberators.

The Iranian working class has many scores to settle with their Iranian rulers, but as bad as the current regime in Iran is, Iranians need only look across the border into Iraq to see that U.S. occupation will be much worse. War, a puppet capitalist regime, a million dead, torture, millions of refugees, and an occupier mainly interested in privatization to loot resources. As Iraq shows, there is no liberation at the hands of U.S. occupation. And as the CIA’s Shah showed, there is no liberation under a U.S. imposed puppet. Only anti-imperialist socialist revolution can begin to solve the problems faced by women, ethnic minorities, and the working class of Iran.

NO TO OBAMA’S THREATS AGAINST IRAN!

U.S. HANDS OFF IRAN!

On Iraq, Obama has never promised to fully withdraw. In a debate 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." ("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. 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.

In addition, Obama has directly supported the U.S. war and occupation of Iraq by voting in the Senate to fund it. If it were not for the Democrat votes in congress, the recent $162 billion dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would have never passed.

This most recent New York Times Op Ed from Obama continues on with a pro-war position. Obama is clear. He wants a gradual redeployment of the majority of troops to fight other wars while calling for continuing keep some troops fighting in Iraq.

On Blackwater mercenaries fighting in Iraq Obama also refuses to support a ban, and promised to continue to use Blackwater when he becomes president (Democracy Now!, June 2, 2008).

The US government has no right to be in Iraq murdering, torturing, and humiliating their people while making massive profits for the military industry and other contractors. The U.S. is attempting to privatize Iraqi oil to eliminate Iraqi control over this most important resource and give U.S. and British oil companies control over the oil. The puppet government the US has set up is a death squad government that should not be protected by U.S. troops. Continued occupation of Iraq is a continued attempt to subvert the national will of the Iraqi people and it must end immediately, yet Obama's plan is to only leave, partially, after a couple years, and this, assuredly, only after the oil law has been passed and oil ownership handed over to the multi-nationals. This, as Obama's own use of the term "redeployment" indicates, will free U.S. troops up for other oil wars.

NO TO OBAMA’S “PHASED REDEPLOYMENT”!

U.S. OUT OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN NOW!

U.S. HANDS OFF THE WORLD!

Another major cause for war in the Middle East is U.S. military support to the racist regime in Israel. Obama promises to continue this practice. At AIPAC Obama promised:

“Defense cooperation between the United States and Israel is a model of success, and must be deepened. As president, I will implement a Memorandum of Understanding that provides $30 billion in assistance to Israel over the next decade — investments to Israel's security that will not be tied to any other nation. First, we must approve the foreign aid request for 2009. Going forward, we can enhance our cooperation on missile defense. We should export military equipment to our ally Israel under the same guidelines as NATO.”

This despite Israel’s recent war of aggression against Lebanon, a war that, if it were not for the heroic resistance of Hezbollah fighters, would have ended in another Israeli occupation like Israel’s brutal occupation of Lebanon that took place in the 1980’s. That occupation included crimes against humanity committed by Israeli and allied Christian Phalangists when they massacred thousands of Palestinians in cold-blood at the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps.

In addition, Obama’s speech made no reference to the suffering faced by the Palestinian people as a result of the creation and continuation of the Jewish state. Israel is a state that created a homeland for one people, through force and violence, by denying the homeland of Palestine’s original inhabitants. Also missing from Obama’s speech was the brutal blockade currently being carried out against Palestinians in Gaza. Obama expressed zero sympathy for the Palestinians and other Arabs, only promises to supply Israel with the weapons to kill more Arabs.

Massive U.S. military aid helps keep the repressive governments of Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia in power. Instead of promising more U.S. military aid, that aid should be cut off to better allow the people of the Middle East to decide their own future.

NO TO OBAMA’S PROMISE OF BILLIONS TO ISRAEL!

Another indicator of where Obama stands on imperialist war is how he sees the past wars of the United States. Of H. W. Bush and his war on Iraq Obama recently stated, "I have enormous sympathy for the foreign policy of George H. W. Bush. I don't have a lot of complaints about their handling of Desert Storm." (Barack Obama, from David Brooks article, "Obama Admires Bush, NY Times, May 16, 2008)

Leading up to that war, Kuwait was slant drilling into Iraqi Ramaila oil fields. Iraq saw this as theft. In addition, the Kuwaiti monarchy went against OPEC quotas and increased oil production by 40%, bringing down the price of oil on the world market, something Saddam Hussein called economic warfare.

Before Iraq invaded Kuwait, Saddam Hussein was, at that time an ally of the United States in the wars against Iran and the Kurds. He had received massive U.S. military backing in those wars. When he assembled troops on the Kuwaiti border, US ambassador April Glaspie met with Saddam Hussein and told him, "We have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait."

Saddam Hussein saw this as a green light from his powerful U.S. ally to invade Kuwait. Soon after, he did.

But Saddam Hussein was set up by the United States because the U.S. wanted a war. The reason for this was to prop up the profits of the military industrial complex. The Soviet Union had just fallen, and the military industries needed an excuse to keep spending billions of dollars of our tax dollars on the military.

Saddam Hussein was the perfect boogie-man to meet their needs. The U.S. corporate media pointed out that he had murdered tens of thousands of Kurds, never mentioning why they were silent when the operations were taking place with weapons supplied by the United States.

The U.S. corporate media also claimed that premature babies in Kuwait had been taken out of incubators and left to die so that the incubators could be shipped back to Baghdad. The whole story was a complete fabrication, and the corporate media even admitted it after the war, but the lie served its purpose in swaying many people who otherwise questioned going to war for the repressive Kuwaiti monarchy.

In addition, President H.W. Bush claimed as reason for war, "Within three days, 120,000 Iraqi troops with 850 tanks had poured into Kuwait and moved south to threaten Saudi Arabia. It was then that I decided to act to check that aggression." This was based on supposed Pentagon satellite photos. Yet, from commercial satellite photos acquired by the St. Petersburg Times, this was proven to be a lie, the desert Bush senior and the Pentagon referred to was nothing but empty desert.

While playing up false stories of baby killers and the new Hitler that was going to march across the Middle East, the U.S. corporate media ignored Kuwait’s theft of Iraqi oil as well the historic claim of Iraq to Kuwait, with Kuwait being a construct of British imperialism to divide the territory and limit Iraqi access to the sea.

In addition, the U.S. corporate media completely ignored the repressive nature of the Kuwaiti monarchy that U.S. troops were sent to fight and die for. The vast majority of those living in Kuwait were denied the right to vote and other more basic rights. This included women and people labeled foreigners, many of whom had been in Kuwait for generations. Some who had ancestors in Kuwait prior to 1920 were even denied Kuwaiti citizenship. Palestinian workers built modern Kuwait, but they were kept in second class status. This situation was so bad that many Palestinians aided the Iraqi troops and saw them as a liberation army. After the U.S. re-installed the monarchy, most Kuwaiti Palestinians were driven out of Kuwait.

For women in Kuwait the Iraqi invasion also brought hope. 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. Under Saddam Hussein, over 50% of Iraqi doctors were women. Iraqi women were allowed to walk unescorted in the streets. They were allowed to drive. Iraqi women could even freely criticize men. In addition, Iraqi women had the right to work and control their own funds. This was in stark contrast to the treatment of women under the repressive monarchy of Kuwait where women had / have no rights what-so-ever.

In carrying out the war to defend the Kuwaiti monarchy the U.S. used depleted uranium (DU) weapons that have contaminated Iraqi water, soil, and food with radiation. This radiation has caused large numbers of birth defects and other diseases for the Iraqi people. In addition, U.S. soldiers were not given protection and, as a result, became ill in massive numbers with the symptoms of radiation poisoning. Like Agent Orange poisoning in Vietnam, the military brass pretended they had no clue to the cause of this illness that became dubbed “Persian Gulf War Syndrome”. Yet this was later exposed as a lie when reports were made public warning the military brass of the health risks of DU weapons before the war.

Government demographer Beth Osborn Duponte lost her job when she estimated the civilian loss of life in Iraq to be around 83,000, 13,000 directly from U.S. bombing and another 70,000 civilians dead as a result of U.S. targeting of civilian necessities such as water treatment facilities, medical facilities and supplies, and the electric power grid.

In addition, Duponte estimated deaths of Iraqi troops to be around 40,000. Many of the Iraqi troops killed were buried alive. In defense of U.S. actions Col. Lon Maggart said, "People somehow have the notion that burying guys alive is nastier than blowing them up with hand grenades or sticking them in gut with bayonets, well it's not."

So Obama has no problems with Bush targeting civilians, irradiating U.S. troops and the Iraqi people, burying people alive, and re-installing a repressive monarchy in Kuwait. In addition, Obama wants to escalate the war in Afghanistan, send troops into Pakistan, is already threatening Iran with war, will never fully pull out of Iraq and only promises to pull out most troops in two years after an extended gradual re-deployment of troops to other wars, will continue to use murderous Blackwater mercenaries in Iraq, and promises billions in military aid to Israel. Enough said.

Obama will be nominated the presidential candidate of the Democrat Party on August 24-28 at the Democrat Party National Convention (DNC). In opposition to the DNC convention, protests are being organized, with organizers stating:

"On August 24-28, the ruling elite and their defenders will converge in Denver Colorado, in an attempt to recuperate the gains of global social movements and produce another myth of progress. Lip service to global warming, the economic crisis and the war will endow them with the magic to spread amnesia across the hearts and minds of North America... Outside those doors, however, so many will exclaim, smash and sing a harmonious ‘no.’...”

In addition, there will be protests at the equally pro-war Republican National convention being held September 1-4 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Although virtually ignored by the corporate press, there are other presidential candidates who are running in opposition to the Democrats and Republicans who are for immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. These include Cynthia McKinney running on the Green Party ticket, Brian Moore of the Socialist Party, and Gloria La Riva on the Party for Socialism and Liberation ticket, and Róger Calero on the Socialist Workers Party ticket. Corporate controlled elections and media assure that these authentic anti-war candidates will not get elected, but these candidacies do help expose people to positions of politicians not controlled by corporate interests and the pro-war Democrat Party machine. In addition, through some of these campaigns, more people become exposed to socialist ideas and the ideas of class struggle methods to bring about change.

A vote for Obama or McCain is a vote for war! So that's what, in active terms, you're really voting for when you vote Democrat or Republican. Those of us voting for third parties, or refusing to vote, will not change the country directly through the elections either, but at least we won’t be dumb enough to vote for own oppressors and exploiters that are waging imperialist war. Instead, we will have the sense to be working for something different.

And those of us in unions should be angry that our hard earned union dues are being squandered on the Democrat Party when that money should instead be put into stronger strike funds to strengthen our ability to fight for better contracts, for socialized medicine, and for bigger strikes against the wars.

Build the Anti-War Movement! For More Strikes for Immediate Withdrawal Like the May 1st ILWU Anti-War Strike That Shut Down 29 Ports! Support Soldiers Refusing to Fight Including the 10,000 U.S. Soldiers Who Have Gone AWOL! Build the Socialist and Anti-Imperialist Movements! U.S. Hands off Iran! U.S. Out of Iraq and Afghanistan Now!



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Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Emily
Tuesday Jul 15th, 2008 8:53 AM
What's this election - replacing one war monger with another!
by Juan
Tuesday Jul 15th, 2008 10:24 AM
According to the U.S. Constitution international treaties signed on to by the U.S. are to be treated as supreme laws of the land. This being the case, and the fact that the majority of the worlds'countries are signed on to the Geneva Conventions of war including Britain, Canada, and the U.S.A., and the fact that these international laws of war were fought for by the anti-fascist side during the second world war, it would be most appropriate that Obama took note of them and quit war mongering against the rest of the world and expecially against the peoples abiding in the Holyland, as he has been.

In the Geneva Conventions there are three most obvious war crimes that the U.S. Imperialist military is guilty of, 1) targeting and killing of civilians, 2) torturing and killing pisoners of war, 3) collective punishment, such as shock and awe, the bombing of hundreds of villages, towns and cities to rubble throughout the Holyland because the peoples therein abiding have chosen to fight the illegal invasion and occupation of their countries. There was no military threat from those countries and no WMD. That resistence is entirely legitamate says the Geneva Conventions and further that once the foreign occupation takes place the occupyer is not allowed to regime change and must treat each and every citizen including the fighters by the rules of the Geneva Conventions and not with any cruel and unusual treatments.

Obama might then bother to read the Nuremburg Trials chaired by the U.S. judge Jackson which declared that planning and doing aggressive war against a country is the worlds' supreme crime, as it sets all other crimes big and small, high and low into motion. That being the case and the fact that the U.S. Constitution is being violated and the very worst crimes on earth committed by the U.S. Goverment and military, that impeachment of the Bushco authorities is definely indicated by the U.S. Constitution and the international courts to which the worlds peoples are signed on to. The high crimes and misdemeanors are the worst yet crimes done by any country on earth and include genocide and willfull pollution of the air, land, and water , plants, animals, and peoples. All that while the non-pollution solutions are becomming widely available throughout the world. Further war mongering by the government of the U.S. is against the United Nations Charter, which states that the UNs purpose is to make aggressive war a long distant memory for future generations. The security council has been usurped by world Imperilism, and has now with veto allowed the Imperialist war makers for money to wage wars directly in contraventions of the United Nations Charter which forbids aggressive war as foreign policy, and opts for future relations between nations to be dealt with as collective agree as democracy. No more aggressive war, troops out now and compensate the millions of victims of this illegal and unjust war. Seventy percent of Americans, and 80% percent of the peoples globally are opposed to further aggressive war in the area. Viva social liberation. End pollution wars, not endless wars for more pollution. Peace equals disarmament.
by Robert Norse
Wednesday Jul 16th, 2008 1:19 PM
Haven't heard much about nuclear disarmnament from Obama and followers.

Also of interest:

http://www.blackagendareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=697&Itemid=1
by CheckMate
Wednesday Jul 16th, 2008 7:34 PM
Are you kidding me? You have got to be kidding me. Obama a war monger? That has to be a joke! When he criticized the Iraq war some 6 years ago people called him unpatriotic. After 6 years he was right all along now cynics want to twist the facts. Give me a break.

Seriously. What will it take for voters in this country to finally accept a good candidate and for once have good governance. Are we so disillusioned we cannot tell who the good guys are and who the bad guys are?

Barack is going to be our next POTUS and he will bring about the change we so deserve. I will be part of that change express. I hope you wake up soon enough to be because we are going to write the next great chapter in the American story with or without all the fact faking cynics.

Yes we can!!
by Steven Argue
Thursday Jul 17th, 2008 10:28 AM
My facts are correct. I'll provide references for any fact you think is incorrect in my article, and I'll give you a cookie if you find one fact in my article that is not correct.
by Checkmate
Saturday Jul 19th, 2008 1:17 PM
Your characterization of Obama's statements are wrong, deadwrong. He did not start these wars and he is merely attempting to work with the rubbish situation Bush and co have put us in, in a rational and sensible manner as possible without endangering anymore lives. Where were you when he predicted everything that would happen should we go to war with Iraq. I bet you were busy baking and eating your own cookies. Well maybe you should lighten up on the cookies so you can think straight. The goal of the war on terrorism is to fight the global terrorist which at the moment is strongly AlQaeda in Afghanistan. Also, you should learn more about Barack's position on using diplomatic tools and not stretching our military.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5eO9HwSmnY
by Steven Argue
Monday Jul 21st, 2008 2:08 AM
Reply to "Checkmate"

***Checkmate says, "Your characterization of Obama's statements are wrong, deadwrong."

I'm still waiting for you to point out a single error.

***Checkmate says, "He did not start these wars..."

I never said he did.

***Checkmate continues, "and he is merely attempting to work with the rubbish situation Bush and co have put us in, ..."

His supposed solution is more imperialist war. And you are leaving out the Democrats. They also put the U.S. government in these wars by voting for them.

***Checkmate continues, "...in a rational and sensible manner as possible without endangering anymore lives."

Nonsense, my article answers this. I won’t waste people’s time by reposting what’s already in the article.

***Checkmate says, "Where were you when he predicted everything that would happen should we go to war with Iraq."

I was protesting against the proposed war and writing articles about it. And, unlike Obama, I was not spreading the lies Obama was about weapons of mass destruction. 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)

None of these claims by Obama were true.

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 or the lies they parroted 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, writing for Liberation News I pointed out that it is the United States that has the weapons of mass destruction. Instead of war, I 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.

***Checkmate says, "I bet you were busy baking and eating your own cookies. Well maybe you should lighten up on the cookies so you can think straight.”

Actually, I was baking up articles including the one the following quote is from:

"In the 1970’s 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.

***Checkmate says, "The goal of the war on terrorism is to fight the global terrorist which at the moment is strongly AlQaeda in Afghanistan."

This is not correct. For the Democrats a Republicans the so-called "War on Terror" Iraqs supposed weapons of mass destruction, etc etc. were never the real motive for mass murder and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan. The capitalist ruling class, and their Democrat and Republican representatives, thought that they could use their superior military power to quickly move into Afghanistan and establish by force a stable puppet regime friendly to U.S. corporate intentions to build a pipeline for oil from the former USSR. Likewise, in Iraq, the goal was to establish through violence 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 these imperialist plans that have forced Obama to come up with a new game plan for the same imperialist team.

***Checkmate says, "Also, you should learn more about Barack's position on using diplomatic tools…"

Diplomacy by the representatives of U.S. imperialism is always backed up by threat of war. Obama has made it clear that he has no problem with this with his promise to escalate the U.S. war in Afghanistan, he threats of U.S. war on Iran and in Pakistan, his continued votes for funding the war in Iraq, his opposition to full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, his opposition to immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, and with his stated support for the 1991 imperialist war against Iraq. So Obama has no problem sitting at the table and negotiating with the people he is threatening to kill, big whip-dee-do!!!

***Checkmate continues, “…and not stretching our military."

A stretched imperialist military is always less dangerous to the people of the world. Cuba thanks the heroic resistance of the Vietnamese for keeping the U.S. imperialists too busy to be fighting on Cuban soil. It is the right of the people of both Iraq and Afghanistan to rebel against these foreign occupations and to form any government they want. In addition, the way they have stretched U.S. forces has kept the people of other countries safer from U.S. attacks. Obama’s promise to redeploy U.S. troops from Iraq to Afghanistan and other wars is, however, a very dangerous thing for people in the countries threatened by the United States, and a key to Obama’s “diplomacy”.
by Pondering
Monday Jul 21st, 2008 7:09 PM
I'm grateful for the research, but I don't share the conclusion that Obama is pro war. He knows he has to be careful about not scaring the paranoid right wing. He is a shrewd politician, and he knows what he has to do to get elected is keep the conservatives calm. If he was pro peace, they would become alarmed that he was a naive liberal who would let them be killed by terrorists. The right wing uses fear to win elections, and unfortunately, if you respond with "oh don't worry, we can all get along" even though it's true, they can't hear that. He's no dummy, and if you vote for a third party, you know you're voting for McCain, unless you're in a heavily democratic state, so thanks a lot. And if you believe Obama is just as bad as McCain, please think about how different Gore would have been than Bush, and realize a vote for Nader was a vote for Bush and against Gore. Look at the options you have got, instead of dreaming of one you don't. If you really want to push the middle candidates to the left, be proactive and call your representitives, but please don't help McCain get elected.
by Stevn Argue
Tuesday Jul 22nd, 2008 11:45 PM
***Pondering says, “I'm grateful for the research, but I don't share the conclusion that Obama is pro war.”

As I lay out in the article:

“So Obama has no problems with Bush targeting civilians, irradiating U.S. troops and the Iraqi people, burying people alive, and re-installing a repressive monarchy in Kuwait. In addition, Obama wants to escalate the war in Afghanistan, send troops into Pakistan, is already threatening Iran with war, will never fully pull out of Iraq and only promises to pull out most troops in two years after an extended gradual re-deployment of troops to other wars, will continue to use murderous Blackwater mercenaries in Iraq, and promises billions in military aid to Israel. Enough said.”

***Pondering says, “He knows he has to be careful about not scaring the paranoid right wing. “He is a shrewd politician, and he knows what he has to do to get elected is keep the conservatives calm. If he was pro peace, they would become alarmed that he was a naive liberal who would let them be killed by terrorists. The right wing uses fear to win elections, and unfortunately, if you respond with "oh don't worry, we can all get along" even though it's true, they can't hear that. He's no dummy…”

Why would he be so afraid of the paranoid rightwing? The “paranoid right wing”, represented in power by Bush, is only slightly ahead of Vlad the Impaler in public opinion polls. Literally. And Obama’s polls dropped dramatically after his perceived move to the right after his defeat of Hillary Clinton. In addition, Obama already has power and continues to vote to fund this extremely unpopular war. The reason the Democrats continue to vote to fund this unpopular war is because they like it. It is their policy because it is their policy. Why is projection so common among liberals?

***Pondering says, “…and if you vote for a third party, you know you're voting for McCain, unless you're in a heavily democratic state, so thanks a lot.”

This is a lie the Democrats love to tell. They tell voters who are anti-war that they must vote for their pro-war candidate or else they are voting for the pro-war candidate the Republicans put forward. This is a lie and an insult. I’d never vote for either Obama or McCain.

***Pondering says, “And if you believe Obama is just as bad as McCain, please think about how different Gore would have been than Bush,”

I doubt that Gore would have been better than Bush in any meaningful way. Gore was part of a presidency that for the entire eight years was at war with Iraq, doing bombing raids and imposing a starvation blockade that murdered about two million Iraqis, a presidency that did nothing about global warming, a presidency that never supported nor had any intention of providing socialized medicine to the people of the United States, and a presidency that never freed Leonard Peltier. In addition, Gore was serveing for a president, Bill Clinton, who is now the hired lobbyist of the death squad government of Colombia.

***Pondering says, “and realize a vote for Nader was a vote for Bush and against Gore.”

While I’m certainly to the left of Nader, I must say that a vote for Nader was a vote for Nader and a vote against both Bush and Gore. This false claim is just more of that same old arrogance of the Democrats. The Democrat Party is an evil capitalist party that got us into this war in Iraq by voting for it. The pro-war Democrat Party, with the help of the corporate media, is instead stealing anti-war votes from the actual anti-war left candidates.

***Pondering says, “Look at the options you have got, instead of dreaming of one you don't.”

Looking at the options, that’s what you are actually failing to do. Your options that you are so militantly defending are two pro-war candidates who will do next to nothing about global warming and who are opposed to socialized medicine. You can vote your illusions in either one and get the same thing, continued wars, or you can look at the reality of what it will actually take to end these imperialist wars.

History tells us there are three ways this can be done from the imperialist center:

1. Workers striking and refusing to move war materials. This worked in helping end French involvement in the Vietnam War. This year May 22 strike of West Coast port workers, shutting down 29 ports in opposition to the U.S. occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, was a hint at what can be done if the unions stop putting their support into the pro-war Democrat Party, and start using union power to effect change.

2. Soldiers refusing to fight. This helped end the U.S. occupation of southern Vietnam. After the Kent State Massacre in May 1970, eight million students went out on strike. The majority of U.S. soldiers drafted after that point were already opposed to the war before they got to Vietnam. Nixon was no longer able to fight a war with soldiers who refused to fight.

Many units avoided combat through methods such as banging pots and pans while on patrol, letting NLF fighter know where they were and that they did not want to engage in combat, and fragging officers who tried to force soldiers into combat.

This refusal to fight was so widespread that an official military historian who had reported that the level of moral of U.S. troops in Vietnam in 1967 was better than any troops the U.S. military had put in the field, reported by 1972 that the moral of U.S. troops in Vietnam was at the level of Russian troops on the German front in 1917. At that time Russian soldiers refused to keep killing and dying. Officers were shot and many soldiers returned home to overthrow first the Czarist government in February and then later the Provisional Government in October after that government attempted to re-start the war.

While today the 10,000 AWOL soldiers is a very positive development, and may be a good indication of developments yet to come, I haven't seen evidence that troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are anywhere near the levels of rebellion found in Russian and American troops in 1917 or 1972. There is much work that needs to be done, educational work that has nothing to do with electing pro-imperialist Democrats.

3. Through anti-capitalist revolution, such as the Russian Revolution mentioned under #2, a revolution that ended Russian involvement in the mass inter-imperialist slaughter of the First World War.

***Pondering says, "If you really want to push the middle candidates to the left, be proactive and call your representatives [sic], but please don't help McCain get elected."

We don’t have representatives in this government. Corporate America does, but we do not. Pushing Obama to the left is impossible. This is not my goal. My goal is to get people to end their support for the pro-imperialist, pro-global warming, anti-healthcare Democrats and Republicans. Nothing short of more people completely breaking from these two corporate parties, using more class struggle methods of resistance, and committing to building a revolutionary movement, will move politics to the left in this country. I have no illusions that we can move the likes of Obama or any other corporate politician to the left. Instead, the Obamas and McCains of the world must be defeated through class struggle resistance such as strikes and military mutiny.
by New Statesman
Friday Jul 25th, 2008 11:21 PM
Good article, here's another:

Obama, the prince of bait-and-switch
John Pilger
http://www.newstatesman.com/media/2008/07/pilger-obama-afghanistan-news
by Frank
Monday Aug 11th, 2008 7:06 AM
Divisive bullshit like this is going to get McCain elected and keep us in Iraq for another eight years
If Mr. Argue really wants out of "imperialist war" he should be out canvassing for Obama instead of wasting his time cooking up horseshit like this
by Steven Argue
Wednesday Aug 13th, 2008 8:52 AM
One does not end imperialist war by supporting a candidate for imperialist war. My article is enough of a response to Frank.