The Worker (Update), November 14, 2011
Published by the Workers Party, USA
P.O. Box 25716, Chicago, IL 60625

End U.S. Aggression and Interference in Libya!

The U.S. government and its NATO allies are boasting that they have won victory and brought "liberation" to Libya.

These imperialists are dancing on the graves of the people. In the first place, the cost of their "victory" includes tens of thousands of Libyan people killed or wounded, hundreds of thousands turned into refugees, and the devastation of the economic and social infrastructure of Libya.

Nor are these crimes against the Libyan people at an end.  Resurrecting the old "Mandate" system, the U.S. and other Big Powers are taking control of Libya.  The U.N. Security Council will administer and "reconstruct" Libya while grooming and propping up the "Libyan National Interim Council," a client regime composed of notorious war criminals and oil barons.  The imperialists openly boast that Libya is being opened up to foreign corporations and international bankers.

For over 7 months, U.S.-NATO forces systematically bombed the country, causing largescale destruction of the country's industrial and agricultural infrastructure, bridges, sources of electrical power, water supplies, food warehouses, schools, hospitals, cultural infrastructure, etc. Libyan rule of law was trampled underfoot through the brutal murder of Khadaffi and implementation of policies by the NATO-backed "rebels" which openly target supporters of the Libyan government. This war was never motivated by any "humanitarian" motives but rather by the program of U.S. imperialism to "regime change" every government which asserts any independence from the U.S. In addition, the U.S. and its NATO allies aim to dominate that country's vast natural resources and its strategic location.

The use of the combined military strength of the U.S.-NATO alliance to "overwhelm" the Libyan government by force shows the increasingly brutal character of U.S. imperialism. Increasingly marginalized, the U.S. also hid behind the NATO alliance and the slogan of "multilateralism" in order to carry out this brutal aggression against a sovereign country. Through this alliance, the U.S. and NATO are trampling underfoot the entire edifice of international law and turning the clock backwards to the days of open colonialism and gunboat diplomacy. So too, the U.S. is hiding behind the U.N. Security Council and the slogan of "transition to self-rule" in order to legitimize the "Libyan National Interim Council."

The U.S. government and its NATO allies are congratulating themselves on their military superiority and their capacity to bomb Libya to its knees. They boast about the murder of Khadaffi and warn leaders throughout the world to "take heed of Khadaffi's fate." They openly assert that their "responsibility to protect" does away with the established norms of international law and relations between states. Instead of recognizing the sovereign equality of all nations and striving for peace by renouncing the use of force against other countries, the U.S. is "protecting" the peoples by imposing "Might Makes Right." The entire region has been further destabilized and the expanded presence of U.S. imperialism in the region will be used for the economic penetration and military domination of the Middle East and Africa. The war against Libya is one link in a worldwide chain of intervention and aggression through which the U.S. monopolies are trying to establish a uni-polar world under their dictate.

This entire program for war and U.S. global domination is being presented in the name of "protecting human rights" and "humanitarian intervention." But such assertions of the "moral superiority" of the "American way" and the "responsibility to protect," cannot hide the real aims of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class. The very existence of this class is bound up with the exploitation of the peoples and the domination of countries; its imperialist empire rests on violence and war. Today the imperialist powers are waging a ferocious struggle over every inch of the earth – a struggle for a new economic and territorial division of the world, a struggle for empire. As for U.S. imperialism, it has appointed itself the judge, jury and executioner, and employs the most barbaric methods to try to impose its will on the peoples and countries.

Peace is the Cause of the People

But the war on Libya is also bringing to the fore the struggle of the peoples against war and imperialism. Hundreds of thousands of Libyans fought to defend Libyan sovereignty and independence by organizing pro-Khadaffi demonstrations; popular defense organizations took up arms against "rebels" backed by NATO bombs. So too, in Africa, in Europe, in the U.S. and in countries throughout the world, millions and tens of millions of people came out in active opposition to the U.S.-NATO war. In the U.S., broad new sections of people rejected the chauvinist propaganda which tried to justify aggression in the name of "the responsibility to protect," people unmasked and denounced the aggression and real motives of the U.S. government.

This struggle must be carried on. As the imperialist powers prepare for new wars, the people too must prepare. We must step-by-step organize and activate ourselves.

We must build a broad, popular front against war and imperialism. Such a popular front must unite the widest possible sections of people to fight against every aggressive step taken by the capitalist government. Such a front must link together the many currents of opposition to militarism and war. Such a front must rally people to its own positive, pro-active aims and program which begins with the demand for a democratic foreign policy – for an end to all U.S. intervention and aggression, for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops stationed abroad, for the dismantling of all aggressive military alliances, such as NATO, and respect for the sovereign equality of every nation.

To open the way for creating such a broad, popular front against war and imperialism, we must sum up the experience of the recent struggles and further politicize ourselves and our movement. We must soberly assess the dangers of the present period and continuously expose the chauvinist, militarist propaganda of the government. We must zero in on the cause of war and militarism. We must recognize and assert the role of the people themselves as the force for peace. We must take all the questions of aims, program, strategy, tactics and organization into our hands and step-by-step build up our independent strength.

We cannot have any illusions about the new dangers facing the peoples. Imperialism is leading humanity towards new wars and new disasters. It is only by organizing ourselves independent of and in opposition to the capitalist warmakers that we can bring into being the world of peace so much needed and wanted by the overwhelming majority of humanity.

End All U.S. Interference in Libya Now!

Support the Libyan People's Struggle for Democracy and Independence!

Dismantle the Aggressive U.S.-NATO Alliance!

Build the Popular Front Against War and Imperialism!

Peace is the Cause of the Peoples!

The Trends Behind the Latest "Free Trade" Agreements

With the bipartisan, nearly unanimous support of both parties, a South Korean Free Trade Agreement, a Panamian Free Trade Agreement, and a Colombian Free Trade Agreement have been passed in Congress and signed into law by Obama. These three FTAs are patterned on the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) which took effect in 1994 in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) which took effect in 2005 in the U.S., Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic. Accordingly, these three latest agreements will eliminate most barriers to trade and investment between the U.S. and the respective countries. As a result the FTAs will facilitate U.S. capitalism's penetration and take-over of the economies of South Korea, Colombia, and Panama.

Some of the major provisions and effects of the recently passed "free trade" agreements:

  • each FTA will make it easier for U.S. corporations to set up shop in low-wage areas, leading to the elimination of jobs in the U.S. and increasing the downward pressure on U.S. workers' wages;

  • each FTA establishes investor rules which require South Korea, Panama and Colombia to open up the public sector, including electricity, water, telecommunications, health care and education, to privatization by U.S. corporations. This will further undermine the sovereignty of these countries as well as the rights of the people to vital public services.

  • each FTA requires governments to eliminate laws and regulations which limit or are "burdensome" to corporations' "right" to profits. Amongst other things, this will prevent governments from subsidizing social programs or passing laws to protect the environment.

  • By eliminating trade barriers, each FTA will accelerate the monopolization of the food market by big U.S. agri-businesses and in the process eliminate the livelihoods of millions of family farmers in South Korea, Colombia, Panama and the U.S.

  • Despite being advertised as a "free trade" agreement, each FTA protects the monopoly on patents and other "intellectual property." Amongst other things this will prevent South Korea, Panama and Colombia from producing many generic drugs, thus keeping the price of needed medicines prohibitively high.

The U.S. government and capitalist class is eager to implement more FTAs. Currently, a trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement involving the U.S. and Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, Vietnam, Chile and Peru is being negotiated.

The U.S. now has FTAs involving 20 other countries. The FTA with South Korea -- a country with a population of nearly 50 million and a GDP of over $1 trillion -- is the largest since NAFTA. The passage of these three new FTAs, like NAFTA and CAFTA before, accelerates trends which are already inherent in present-day capitalist-imperialism.

Inside the U.S., the capitalist monopolies, which dominate our entire economy, are continually working to "rationalize" and "downsize" production, to shift factories to "low wage" areas, including abroad, in order to maximize profits. For the workers, this means greater unemployment, constant job insecurity and downward pressure against wages.

On a world scale, U.S. capitalism continually seeks new markets, sources of raw materials, and more workers to exploit by penetrating and taking over the economies of other countries. In Latin America, U.S. capitalism aims at nothing less than the virtual annexation of the countries of the region.

For workers in the U.S. and the peoples in Latin America and other countries, the only way out is through the path of struggle.

In addition to opposing "trade" agreements like the three recently signed into law, U.S. workers must wage continual struggles against lay-offs, unemployment and for job security.

We must develop a political struggle to force the government to recognize and guarantee the right of everyone to a job or a livelihood.

At the same time, we must support the struggles of the peoples in South Korea, Panama, Colombia, and other countries who are fighting against U.S. corporate exploitation and domination, who are fighting to defend their national and economic sovereignty and secure their inalienable economic rights. In Latin American countries alone, millions of working people have come out in protests and demonstrations against "trade" agreements like the Panamanian and Colombian agreements, demanding amongst other things, protection of the public sector of the economies of those countries.

The root question is the "economy for whom?" According to the authors of the "trade" agreements and the capitalist class generally, the entire economy of the U.S. and the world - the land and the natural resources of the world, the factories and other economic infrastructure created by the working classes over generations and generations, even the very lives of the workers themselves and the fate of whole nations - belong to the capitalist class, to a handful of exploiting parasites. The peoples - those whose labor created all the material blessings - have no say-so and no rights whatsoever. Thus whole towns in the U.S. can be destroyed because the capitalists close down factories and move abroad to grab greater profits. Thus, in countries such as South Korea, Colombia, and Panama, the forests, the water supplies and even the right of the peoples to health care must be surrendered to the appetite of U.S. imperialism.

Control over the economy is the starting point of control over life itself. The freedom and future of humanity is linked with getting control over the economy and putting it in service of the needs and rights of the people themselves.