The Worker (Update), February 12, 2013
Published by the Workers Party, USA
P.O. Box 25716, Chicago, IL 60625
The American People Demand Peace!
According to a new doctrine laid out in a U.S. Department of Justice White Paper "an informed high level official of the U.S. government" could order assassination if he or she decides to believe the target is "a leader of al-Qaida." The doctrine is an open declaration that the Obama administration will violate the sovereignty of any country in order to use lethal force for any reason against anyone anywhere outside of U.S. territory.
U.S. imperialism is an outlaw state, an international gangster which openly follows the logic that "Might Makes Right."
So too, the doctrine is but a retroactive explanation of the "license to kill" which Obama has already issued to his henchmen. Thousands of people – including hundreds of children – have already been murdered by U.S. drone operators since Obama took office in 2009. On February 7 the doctrine was officially released to Congressional Oversight Committees "for their information." The words of Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D) were, "I am pleased that the president has agreed to provide the Intelligence Committee with access to the OLC (Office of Legal Counsel) opinion regarding the use of lethal force in counterterrorism operations." This grotesque spectacle is nothing but a scheme to let the government and the entire official political apparatus of our country off the hook.
All those responsible for the U.S. drone murders must be held accountable and pay for their crimes! This includes both the individual soldiers involved as well as Barack Obama, Leon Panetta and the entire high command of U.S. imperialism.
Yet more, targeted assassinations are only one of the disastrous consequences of the U.S. government's "war against terrorism." Already U.S. imperialism is at war against the whole world, against humanity. Already the U.S. is occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, extending the war into Pakistan, sending troops to Colombia and the Philippines to fight counter-insurgency wars, and supporting Israel's aggressive war against Palestine. Already the U.S. has set up dozens of military bases in an arc of aggression stretching from Eastern Europe to Central Asia, the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. There are signs of increasing inter-imperialist rivalry and already France has launched a war of aggression against Mali.
The "war against terrorism" is an aggressive, imperialist war inspired by the exploiting colonial aims of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class. This aggression is the inevitable product of the all-sided crisis and decay of the capitalist-imperialist system.
Capitalist-imperialism is a system under which a handful of monopoly groups and capitalist states have seized control of the economy of the whole world, subjugating billions of people in the colonial and dependent countries. Imperialism means the systematic robbery of the resources of these countries and the super-exploitation of the people by U.S. and other monopoly capitalists. Imperialism is a system which tramples underfoot the economic and political sovereignty of countries.
The U.S. monopoly capitalist class – a class which seeks to maximize its profits not only through the exploitation of the American working class but also through the superexploitation and enslavement of peoples the world over – needs war.
It needs war to redraw the map of the world to gain new markets, sources of raw materials, spheres of economic dominance, etc.
It needs war to reimpose the colonial system and direct U.S. military rule on other countries.
It needs war to bring the weaker capitalist states and its imperialist rivals further under its thumb.
It needs war to further militarize the U.S. and put the whole of our country's economy at its disposal.
Only the peoples can stop the war program of imperialism.
Already, across the globe tens of millions of people are coming forward to say "No!" to the war program of U.S. imperialism. Everyday we must extend and deepen this movement in order to undermine the plans of the warmakers.
In the course of this urgent struggle, we must organize the independent political movement of the people. Such a movement must be directed against the parties of war and imperialism and aim to bring to power a new government, a people's government.
Then we can put a stop to imperialism's "war without end" by carrying through a fundamental change in U.S. foreign policy – by withdrawing all U.S. troops stationed abroad and recognizing the sovereign equality of every country.
Democratic Foreign Policy
The struggle against war and imperialism is a vital part of the struggle of the American working class and people.
In the present conditions, the immediate program of the Workers Party calls for a genuinely democratic foreign policy. This program calls for
— the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops stationed abroad.
— an end to all aggressive military alliances and pacts such as NATO.
— an end to U.S. interference and aggression in all its forms.
— respect for the sovereignty and independence of every country and the right of every people to determine their own social, economic and political system.
This immediate program aims at putting the initiative into the hands of the anti-war, anti-militarist movement by making it pro-active rather than merely reactive. It aims at uniting the various currents of the anti-war, anti-militarist movement into one mighty torrent and at developing it as an independent movement in opposition to and struggle against the monopoly capitalist class and the imperialist system.
The immediate program for a democratic foreign policy corresponds with the proletarian internationalist ideology of the Workers Party.
Proletarian internationalism is expressed in that great slogan of the Communist Manifesto: “Workers of All Countries, Unite!” This slogan expresses the fact that, regardless of nationality, the oppression of the worker arises from the same conditions – from the capitalist system based on the exploitation of wage-labor. The slogan “Workers of All Countries, Unite!” also expresses the fact the workers in every country are waging a common struggle for emancipation, a struggle against capitalism and for the victory of socialism. In fact, in the world today – when the biggest monopoly groups and imperialist states have stretched their net of exploitation over the entire globe – the working class struggle is not only directed against the common class of capitalist exploiters but often against the very same capitalists.
In the beginning of the 20th century, alongside the slogan “Workers of All Countries, Unite,” the international working class movement also inscribed on its banner: “Workers and Oppressed Nations and Peoples of the World, Unite!” This slogan arose from the fact that capitalism had “grown” into a world system of colonialism and imperialism. One billion and more people, enslaved by the colonial system, took the field against capitalist-imperialism by initiating anti-colonial, national liberation movements.
These two great movements – the working class movement for emancipation and the national liberation movements of the oppressed nations and peoples – are the principal motive forces of the present era.
The unity of these two great movements is expressed in the common struggle against the common enemy – imperialism; it is expressed in the common goal for the liberation and emancipation of the peoples. The advances and victories of the working class movement in any and every country weaken the common enemy – the capitalist class and the capitalist system – and provide inspiration and illumination for the workers everywhere. So too, the irresistible tide of national liberation has continually struck at the very foundations of the capitalist-imperialist system and helped open the way for the peoples.
The program of proletarian internationalism is of tremendous significance for the U.S. working class and people because, for one thing, the very existence of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class – of U.S. imperialism – is bound up not only with the exploitation and oppression of the U.S. workers but with the super-exploitation and enslavement of nations around the world. Militarism and war are part of the way of life of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class.
The U.S. working class is made up of workers who have come here from the four ends of the earth. The immigrant workers bring into the U.S. working class the anti-imperialist and revolutionary traditions of their homelands. This is an inexhaustible source of enlightenment which further impels the U.S. workers to support the revolutionary movement in every country.
Thus, in the course of our struggle against the capitalist class and for socialism, we must resolutely oppose the chauvinism of U.S. monopoly capital, oppose its war program and its exploitation and domination of other countries. It is impossible for the working class in the U.S. to rise to its feet and fight for its emancipation if it gives way to the chauvinist propaganda and subordinates its own class aims to the drive of U.S. imperialism to dominate other countries and peoples.
Throughout the 20th century, and before, the American people have expressed their profound anti-imperialist sentiment and their proletarian internationalism through repeated struggles against the aggressive wars and colonial program of the capitalist government. For example, over the last 50 years, the American people have initiated and organized massive movements against nuclear weapons and for peace, against U.S. aggression in Vietnam, against the U.S. blockade of Cuba, against the Gulf War and the war in Yugoslavia, etc., etc. The consciousness of every generation of American workers has been formed, in part, by the international experience and victories of the working class movement and the liberation struggles – by the victories of socialism in the Soviet Union in the 1920’s and ‘30’s, by the world-wide Anti-Fascist War, by the glorious national liberation struggle of the Vietnamese people, etc., etc.
The Workers Party wholeheartedly supports the working class movement in every country just as it supports the national liberation struggles of the oppressed nations and peoples. One touchstone of our support is the Party’s irreconcilable struggle against our “own” capitalist government and it imperialist empire.
The fundamental program of the Workers Party is for socialism. Colonialism and militarism have very definite causes, arising from the capitalist-imperialist system which is based on the oppression of whole nations. By abolishing this system of exploitation and oppression, socialism eliminates the social relations which give rise to antagonisms and wars between countries and opens the way for that world of peace and friendship so ardently desired by the peoples everywhere. By carrying through the socialist transformation of our country, the U.S. working class will provide tremendous support to the peoples everywhere fighting against imperialism and for liberation.
For Your Information
The Executive Power
Behind the democratic facade of the present system the real power is concentrated in the executive branch of government, including the vast bureaucratic machinery of the federal, state and local governments.
One of the cornerstones of the American political system is separation of the legislative function, the power to make laws, from the executive function, the power to implement laws and administer the state. The latter function is concentrated in the president and independent executive branch.
But the power to implement the law also necessarily implies the power to select and interpret the laws – that is, in the final analysis, to make the law. Thus, the “discretion” and “prerogative” of the executive branch inevitably places in its hands a power unrestrained by any law or even the Constitution itself. Countless historical and present-day examples can be given, of how this executive power acts as an arbitrary power in opposition to the interests of society as a whole, and is completely alienated from the people and even from the legislative bodies. The vast bureaucratic apparatus of the state, simply on the basis of its will and by means of executive decrees, exercises control over vast areas of social life. For example, the Federal Reserve Board, through its control over the money supply, interest rates and banking system, wields enormous power over the economic life of the country; the Interior Department controls the management and use of vast federal lands; the implementation of civil rights laws, laws regulating trade unions and workers’ rights, etc., remains in the hands of bureaucratic machinery, and so forth.
In addition to the power to interpret and implement law, the president and the executive branch of government retain “emergency powers” – the power to set aside the Constitution and the rule of law, including civil liberties. This “emergency power” is used to impose the will of the executive (and the class forces which he represents) through force of arms. The calling out of the National Guard in L.A. after the Rodney King verdict and the repeated use of presidential power to suspend strikes and union activities in the airline and railroad industries are but a few of thousands of examples of the use of the government’s “emergency power.”
In the area of foreign affairs, including the power to wage war, constitutional law and historical practice have recognized the president as the “sole organ and representative” of the nation. The slogans of “national interest” and “national security” are used to justify conducting foreign policy in secret, waging undeclared wars, spying on and persecuting people who oppose the government’s policy, etc. Through these slogans, the interests of the whole society and the entire people are equated with the interests and will of the president and the class forces which stand behind him.
In sum it can be said that the legislative branch of government primarily serves only as a talk shop to lend an aura of legitimacy to the rule of the executive, which, in the manner of the kings of the feudal era, has usurped the supreme power.
A modern definition of democracy must carry through the struggle against the “divine power” of kings by overcoming the chasm between the legislative and executive functions of government, eliminating the arbitrary power of the executive and insuring that the entire political power is in the hands of the people themselves. The “residual power” (that power not explicitly defined by the Constitution) must be taken out of the hands of the executive and returned to the people.