The Worker (Update), February 18, 2008
Published by the Workers Party, USA
P.O. Box 25716, Chicago, IL 60625

Who is Threatening Whom?

All the while that the U.S. makes war preparations against Iran, officials are carrying out a Big Lie campaign about Iran.

Much as in the Big Lie campaign used to prepare for the invasion of Iraq , the Big Lie campaign condemns Iran, without proof, as a “nuclear threat” and for “building weapons of mass destruction.” Repeated investigations by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have found no validity to such claims and have shown that Iran is compliant with the requirements of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Nevertheless, U.S. officials continue to make these accusations. Demands are made that Iran must do the impossible by providing concrete evidence to disprove a never-ending series of unfounded, unsubstantiated accusations. For example, on February 15 – as part of a push to instigate the U.N. Security Council to impose increased sanctions on Iran – U.S. delegate to the IAEA, George L. Schulte, insisted that Iran must “fully disclose its past weapons work,” and allow “IAEA inspectors to verify it's halted.” Even as Iran continues to cooperate with the IAEA and to maintain openness about its nuclear energy program, the U.S. government refuses to take yes for an answer, but rather, continues blustering that Iran may one day in the future become a nuclear threat. Meanwhile, it is the U.S. government that, in blatant violation of the NPT, has repeatedly threatened to use tactical nuclear weapons against Iran.

The Big Lie campaign hypocritically condemns Iran for interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq and as a “terrorist state.” It is not Iran, but U.S. imperialism that has invaded and is waging a brutal war of occupation in Iraq. It is U.S. imperialism that has imposed terror and “might makes right” on the world by declaring that every country must bow to its dictate or be “treated like a terrorist.” It is U.S. imperialism that has invaded and occupied Afghanistan and continues to authorize and organize Israeli aggression against the Palestinians, etc., etc.

This Big Lie campaign is carried out by politicians from both the Republican and Democratic Parties. For example, Hillary Clinton co-sponsored a bill that would have designated parts of the Iranian government as a “terrorist organization” and would have increased sanctions on Iran, including on food sales. She has also said, “I would negotiate with them, no conditions, but with some sticks that we could use to try to get leverage to move them in the direction we want,” and, “We cannot, we should not, we must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons. And in dealing with this threat, as I've also said for a long time, no option can be taken off the table.”

Similarly, Barack Obama co-sponsored the above-mentioned bill and has said, “Although we must not rule out using military force, we should not hesitate to talk directly to Iran. Our diplomacy should aim to raise the cost for Iran of continuing its nuclear program by applying tougher sanctions and increasing pressure from its key trading partners.”

This Big Lie campaign shows, yet again, that U.S. imperialism wants and needs war and is willing to use any flimsy pretext for its moves against Iran.

Indeed, all the while this deafening propaganda attempts to create a hysteria about Iran, U.S. imperialism carries out very real war preparations against that country. In the fall of 2007 the U.S. military announced a new military base to be built in Iraq called “Combat Outpost Shocker,” which is to be located 4 miles from the Iran-Iraq border. Other U.S. military bases within striking distance of Iran also exist in Iraq and throughout the Middle East and Central Asia such as in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pentagon officials admit that special forces are already engaged in covert operations inside Iran. U.S. combat aircraft have been violating Iranian airpsace. Since the beginning of 2007, the U.S. has deployed 2 aircraft carrier battle groups within striking distance of Iran.

Clearly, it is U.S. imperialism that is the aggressor.

In order to stop further aggression and prevent war, the American people must continue to oppose every aggressive step taken by the U.S. government towards Iran.


Anti-NAFTA Demonstrations in Mexico

February 19, 2008

Hundreds of thousands of people marched in Mexico City and other locations in Mexico in anti-NAFTA demonstrations on January 31. As dictated by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), on January 1, 2008 all tariffs were lifted completely from white corn, beans, sugar and powdered milk, the last Mexican agricultural products to be protected under the agreement. Protestors denounced U.S. domination of the Mexican economy and raised demands that included calls for renegotiation of sections of NAFTA, opposition to privatization of sectors of the economy, and opposition to the dumping of U.S. produce on the Mexican market. Huge quantities of U.S. agricultural products are being sold for extremely low prices in Mexico, thus undermining the livelihoods of Mexican farmers and the entire Mexican economy.

NAFTA took effect in 1994 and includes Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

The trade agreement accelerates trends which are 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 an international 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. Today, U.S. capitalism aims at nothing less than the virtual annexation of Mexico as well as all of Central and South America .

Some of the results of NAFTA have included that Mexico, once a net exporter of produce, is now a net importer. Maquiladoras – export factories near the U.S.-Mexico border in which Mexican workers are superexploited and are forced to live in unsafe and impoverished conditions – have more than doubled between 1993 and 2004. According to a Carnegie Endowment report, 1.3 million Mexican farmers have been displaced between 1994 and 2003. Families included, this means that some 6 million people have been displaced.

In the summer of 2005, the U.S. Congress approved a similar trade agreement called the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) which includes the U.S., Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic. The U.S. government signed a similar bilateral trade agreement with Peru in December 2007 and the Bush administration has negotiated bilateral agreements with Colombia and Panama.