The Worker (Update), March 28, 2008
Published by the Workers Party, USA
P.O. Box 25716, Chicago, IL 60625

Anti-war Demonstrations Across the World!

Throughout the week of March 19, millions of people participated in anti-war demonstrations around the world. This March marks the 5 year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

Demonstrations took place in cities on every continent.

Hundreds of thousands took to the streets across the United States including in Los Angeles, San Fransico, Chicago and other major cities. Local demonstrations, vigils, meetings, etc., were also organized in communities in every region of the country.

In addition to calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, demonstrators opposed other fronts in the government’s so-called “war on terror.” Prominent slogans included: “Out of Iraq, Now!,” “Hands off Iran!,” “Stop U.S. Aid to Israel!,” “Out of Afghanistan!”

These events show again humanity’s irreconcilable opposition to U.S. imperialism’s war program and aspiration to bring a world of peace and friendship into being.

No Victory for the Warmakers

True, the Iraq war has not yet been stopped.

On the contrary, the war and occupation of Iraq continues to impose an increasingly brutal social reality on the Iraqi people.

U.S. military offensives resulting in fresh devastation are ongoing. Iraqis are regularly shot down by occupation forces and they constantly face the threat of such an end. The streets abound with military vehicles and helicopter gunships loom overhead. U.S. and/or Iraqi puppet forces regularly carry out raids backed by U.S. warplanes.

162,000 U.S. troops currently occupy Iraq and the number of U.S.-trained and directed armed forces have vastly increased. For example, since last summer 100,000 Iraqi army, police and border forces have been added.

The Iraqi people continue to live without basic necessities. People go with little or no electricity. They lack clean water and sanitation and increasingly suffer and die from the diseases that such conditions give rise to.

Concrete barriers are a blight on many cities, as are walls that segregate and divide neighborhoods, separating families etc. Iraqi people are regularly forced to go through checkpoints, sometimes waiting there for hours.

Torture of Iraqis in American prisons continues.

Iraq’s economy continues to be sold off to foreign capitalists and bankers.

The Iraqi people’s most basic democratic rights are trampled underfoot as a foreign power imposes the laws, government institutions, economic policy etc, through force of arms.

All of this is part and parcel of the continued war and is in complete alignment with its aims. U.S. forces remain in Iraq precisely in order to conquer that country and grab its wealth.

An end to the imposition of this horrific social reality means nothing less than the immediate and complete withdrawal of U.S. troops and an end to all U.S. interference in the internal affairs of Iraq.

In opposition to this demand, Bush and the Republican Party, the Democratic Party and opportunism have for five years been repeating their unified position: “we can’t leave now.” Each additional moment in Iraq is another moment for U.S. imperialism to further entrench itself and each moment renders more devastation and destruction upon the people of Iraq.

Yet as much as it is true that the war has not yet been stopped, all the politicians’ claims of success in Iraq are even more untrue.

Five years ago, Bush claimed that the Iraqi people would throw flowers at the feet of the U.S. soldiers, but the Iraqi people resisted U.S. imperialism.

Bush, along with a Congress controlled by the Democratic Party, called out even more military might beginning in 2007—increasing U.S. troops levels in Iraq by 30,000. Now Bush and government officials boast of their so-called “success” in Iraq, and try to bury their heads in the sand about the undeniable fact that the Iraqi people have even still not submitted to the terror of overwhelming force.

The Iraqi people are resisting and defeating U.S. imperialism.

The Iraqi people’s struggle again highlights the mortal weakness of U.S imperialism—it is opposed by the peoples everywhere. U.S. imperialism’s conquest of Iraq is being hindered and it can be defeated.

The American people have an important role to play in the struggle to end this war. We need to build up our own independent, anti-imperialist organizations with the aim of maximizing popular participation and mobilization in order to force the government to get Out of Iraq Now!

Tens of Thousands of Uninsured Die Annually

In just 17 of the 50 states, 51,400 adults aged 25-64 died between 2000 and 2006 because they did not have health insurance.

This information comes from estimates prepared by Families USA using state-level data. Reports about AR, CO, FL, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NM, OH, OR, PA, VA, WA, WI, and WV have been released so far. Each report includes details about how many adults aged 25-64 don’t have health insurance and approximately how many have died for that reason. For example, Florida’s deathtoll was 2,400 in 2006 alone.

These reports follows a study released by the Urban Institute in January that estimates that over 22,000 uninsured of the same age group died across the country in 2006.

These reports are another wake-up call. Health care is a basic right which everyone is entitled to. Yet tens of thousands of people are dying every year because they have been deprived of this elementary right. This as a disgrace and it is all the more outrageous considering that our country has an abundance of the resources needed to guarantee this right. The solution is to take the profit motive out of health care and create a nationwide system, funded by the government, which provides universal, comprehensive and free health care.

U.S. Provocations Against North Korea

From March 2 to March 7 the U.S. and South Korea staged largescale joint military exercises. The exercises, called “Key Resolve” and “Foal Eagle,” are part of a long line of “war games” carried out for many years to perfect procedures for launching a joint military attack on North Korea. Tens of thousands of U.S. and South Korean troops took place in the exercises this March. Means for nuclear attack from the water, the sky, and the ground were also deployed.

After “Key Resolve” and “Foal Eagle” maneuvers were completed, warships stayed in the waters off the Korean peninsula and carried out further exercises—practicing submarine operational plans, Tomahawk Cruise missiles launches, torpedo launches, etc. Then the U.S. began another series of aerial “war games” on March 16.

These hostile actions take place as U.S. government officials engage in unceasing demagogy about North Korea and hypocritically label it a “rogue state.” It is U.S. imperialism, and not North Korea, that carries out provocative “war games” and tries to push the region to the brink of war.

The removal of all U.S. military forces from the Korean peninsula is what is needed in order to end the threat of war and help bring about the peaceful reunification of the peninsula.

Youth and Student Voice

Each Day We Are Advancing and Winning

A Youth and Students for a Democratic Foreign Policy (YSDFP) activist contributed the following article.

In YSDFP meetings that have taken place over the last several months, activists recounted story after story illustrating that the people’s agenda wins nearly every time anti-imperialist politics is introduced into the discussion. Whenever we initiate such discussions, our efforts are met by people who engage with us and speak out against chauvinism and the aggressive war program of the U.S. government. While doing this work we often learn of meetings and other activities being carried out day by day. Time and again this experience has taught us that the deep aspirations of the American people to live in a world of peace and friendship are unconquerable.

A major part of YSDFP’s activity is that we go amongst broad sections of people to bring them into the anti-war struggle. We do this by standing up for what is right.

This work is part of the struggle for a democratic foreign policy. A democratic foreign policy is one which ends U.S. militarism, interference and aggression and recognizes the sovereign equality of all peoples. Winning this struggle requires that we strengthen our political independence by organizing in opposition to and struggle against the source of war and militarism—the capitalist class and its political parties.

Carrying out maximum discussion amongst the people is a key activity required for furthering the politicalization process needed to achieve these independent political aims.

A variety of pressures work to prevent such discussions. One is the atmosphere of the entrenched politics of the status quo. Take for instance the fact that tons of pictures, stories and soundbites about Democratic and Republican Party candidates bombard our senses all the time. When they stop to think, everyone knows these candidates have nothing to say that has to do with the real lives and strivings of people. Yet within this imposed atmosphere, the discussion must be over which representative of the capitalist class is bound to win the next election. In this environment, people are supposed to be only voting cattle that can have no real say about what kind of society we live in. According to this way, politics means playing word games, outdoing the sleight of hand of rivals, making false promises, refusing to acknowledge the essence (and often the very existence) of the issues of the day, etc, etc. In short, thought and honest discussion are supressed.

More and more discussions about anti-imperialist politics are taking place despite such pressures. Many are learning more and further politicizing themselves.

In order to advance this process we need to foster a new and truly democratic political culture. The atmosphere needed is one in which the lies of the media can be exposed and the facts can be brought out, in which those pushed aside and suppressed can speak. It is one in which there is serious analysis so people can get to the root of the problem. Such a culture assists people to organize themselves—to carefully lay down plans and keep coming together to evaluate the results of their actions. The environment that is needed is one in which people can come together to deliberate over their real interests and give expression to their profound anti-chauvinist and anti-war aspirations. Such a culture is built firstly by telling the truth and taking a stand for what is right. It means struggling to secure and expand the space for independent political discussion everywhere—both inside and outside of our meetings and gatherings.

This new political culture—one involving telling the truth and having maximum political discussion—is one that people yearn for. It is also a key part of building the powerful political movement which can stop the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, can prevent new wars, and that advances towards the goal of abolishing the imperialist system altogether. The experience of YSDFP is that the more we take up this activity, the more our successes multiply. To be active is to win!