The Worker (Update), August 24, 2008
Published by the Workers Party, USA
P.O. Box 25716, Chicago, IL 60625

Strengthen the Independent Political Movement of the People!

As the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are preparing for their national conventions, people across the country are organizing protest demonstrations and other mass actions.

These demonstrations are part of the ongoing movement that has been growing and developing over the last several years. During this time, tens of millions of Americans have joined in actions to oppose the government’s war program, to demand an end to the ongoing cutbacks in such vital social programs as education, health care, housing, income-support programs, etc., to resist the government’s attacks on immigrants, democratic rights, etc.

This movement has made tremendous gains. Yet there is still a long way to go. How can the people advance their independent political movement and continue opening the path of progress?

We need to face up to where the program of the government arises from. The government is carrying out horrible aggression against the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and elsewhere solely to grab profits and empire for the capitalist billionaires. The government is denying our children a modern education, depriving people of the right to health care, leaving millions of people without any livelihood solely to help the billionaires rob the public treasury. The government is inciting racism and building up an unprecedented apparatus of repression in order to silence the voice of the American people and impose the dictatorship of the rich over our country. And the fact is that the capitalist class and its next government administration are only going to continue to carry out these and new offensives on the people at home and abroad.

Another thing that the people must take note of and see through is the two-faced game of the Democratic Party and its opportunist helpers. Even as Obama has collaborated with the Republicans by voting repeatedly to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the opportunists pretend that he is “anti-war.” Even as Obama opposes the demand “Out of Iraq, Now!” and insists that any “drawdown” or “redeployment” of troops in Iraq should be used to escalate the “war on terrorism” in Afghanistan and other places, the opportunists tout him has “anti-war.” Even as Obama’s campaign explicitly outlines his plan to implement a series of governmental measures for handing over public funds to the capitalists, the opportunists proclaim him to be a “friend of the workers.” When the opportunists try to create hysteria and insist that anything is better than the “Republican agenda” they are attempting to cover over the dangers presented by the Republican program which did not arise from Bush, Cheney and the Republicans alone, but from the economic and political interests of the monopoly capitalist class.

No, nothing can erase the fact that, in all its main features, Obama’s program is indistinguishable from the Republicans.

The plain truth is that Obama’s so-called “alternative” is to continue attacking the rights of the people while holding out the false hope that, if we place our movement under the tutelage of the Democrats, there will be “change.” The Democratic Party and its opportunist “left-wing” are touting Obama as “oppositional” in order to slow down the polarization that is growing amongst the people, to corrupt the consciousness and liquidate any independent organization and struggle of the people themselves. The opportunists’ line of campaigning for and voting for the “lesser-evil” not only covers over the real deeds of Obama and the Democrats, but it also tries to relegate people to the role of “voting cattle” with no role to play except to bow their heads and accept the agenda and dictate of their exploiters and oppressors.

The relentless conclusion is that for the movement of the people to advance, the Democratic Party must be isolated, denounced and struggled against just like the Republicans.

The only real way to oppose the war program and resist the attacks on the rights of the people is to escalate the mass struggles of the people and to strengthen a genuinely independent political movement. Doing these things means using the election period and after to take new steps on the path of building up the organized, independent political force of the people themselves. The political program of such a force must aim not at maintaining the oppressive, exploitive status quo, but at recognizing all the inalienable rights of the people.

Take for example, the question of “comprehensive immigration reform.” Both the Democrats and Republicans, not only at the federal level but also at the state and municipal levels, are carrying out vicious campaigns against immigrant workers. Government officials are openly spewing out racist, anti-immigrant propaganda to try to justify stepped up repression and deportation of immigrants. The government is preparing laws, under the banner of “immigration reform,” which criminalize immigrants and will force millions of people deeper into the “underground economy.” The goal is to strengthen and legalize a caste system of indentured servants. Of course we must continue to oppose these attacks. But can our goal only be to prevent the current repression of immigrants from being made even worse? Of course not. The present immigration policy degrades all human beings. It uses immigrants as a source of cheap, super-exploited labor, denies people their basic rights, imposes national oppression and attempts to incite race hatred, and is being used to further militarize our country. Thus, in resisting the Republican and Democratic offensive, we must fight for a program which aims at ending all forms of exploitation and oppression and recognizes that the rights of one are the rights of all.

In the same way, as we continue and escalate our struggle to end the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, we must also build our movement on a pro-active basis by aiming for the implementation of a genuinely democratic foreign policy.

One key tactic of the capitalist offensive is to fragment and marginalize the resistance of the people by dividing the people into “special interest groups” and confining the struggle within the narrowest possible limits. In order to oppose this fragmentation, the working class must take the lead in putting forward a perspective and a program which opens the path for the progress of the whole society. The working class must put forward a program which harmonizes the interests of individuals, various groups and collectives in society with the interests of society as a whole.

The Workers Party puts forward and fights for the program which demands:
—the withdrawal of all U.S. troops stationed abroad and an end to U.S. aggression and interference against other countries
—guarantees for all the fundamental economic rights of the people
—an end to the government’s racism and repression and ironclad guarantees for the democratic rights of the people

This program not only opens up the perspective of the struggle against the Republican-Democratic offensive but also shows the way to unite the overwhelming majority of the people.

The Workers Party calls on all the class conscious workers, the youth and students, the anti-war and other social activists, and everyone opposed to the capitalist offensive to sit together with us and help work out the ways to strengthen the independent politics which genuinely represents the interests of the workers and people of our country.

Build the Mass Workers' Press!

Building “The Worker” is one of the most important means of developing independent politics.

Through the monopoly controlled media, the capitalists spew their propaganda out into every nook and cranny of the society. The capitalist mass media is a media of lies – it aims to numb the consciousness of the people, to whitewash the crimes of the capitalists and their government, to hide the suffering of the broad masses of the people and especially to impose a blockade of silence against independent political struggles.

The capitalists, of course, have vast technological resources and unlimited money with which to produce and transport their media and bombard the people with lies.

In opposition to the monopoly media, “The Worker” is devoted solely to the struggle to change society, to the struggle of the working class for emancipation. The task of “The Worker” is to expose the lies of the capitalists, to popularize and support the struggles of the working class and the broad masses of the people and to provide the independent political inspiration, theory and tactics for advancing the peoples’ struggles and merging them all into a conscious and systematic movement.

The Workers’ press relies solely on the efforts and contributions of the workers themselves to meet all of our editorial, technical, distribution, financial and other needs. To defeat the lies of the capitalist media, to build our workers’ press into a strong, nation-wide center which provides consciousness and direction for the working class and people, we need the sustained efforts of all the activists and friends of the Workers Party and we also need to draw even wider sections of workers and progressive political activists into the work.

There are many ways to contribute to building “The Worker.” Use the pages of “The Worker” to denounce the capitalist class and its program of robbery, war and repression. Sum up and send in reports on the experience of applying the political analysis to the concrete conditions in your area. Organize groups to read and discuss “The Worker.” Build distribution networks for “The Worker” in order to increase its circulation...

All out to Build the Workers’ Press!

Out of Afghanistan, Now!

On August 22, U.S. coalition forces carried out an airstrike on the Afghan village of Azizabad in Herat province, killing at least 75 civilians, including many children.

For nearly seven years, U.S.-NATO occupation forces have continued to carry out offensive military operations throughout Afghanistan, killing untold thousands of people. In July alone, well over 100 civilians were killed in 5 separate U.S. air strikes.

In the last two years, not only has the number of Afghan civilian casualties reached new heights, but the U.S. has also carried out numerous military incursions into Pakistan.

The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as a first-step in its “war against international terrorism.” In every way, the war is an aggressive, imperialist war. As in Iraq, the U.S. military has systematically targeted civilians, killing tens of thousands. Numerous atrocities, such as the saturation bombing of civilian population centers, massacres at wedding ceremonies, market-center bombings, etc., have been repeatedly carried out by the U.S. military.

The U.S. occupation aims not only at subjugating Afghanistan but is also an important part of the extension of U.S. imperialism’s network of military bases and alliances. Permanent military and air bases have been set up in neighboring central Asian countries. These military forces are a dagger in the midst of peoples of the entire region.

Both presidential candidates call for escalating the war. For instance, Democratic Party candidate, Barack Obama, says he will “send at least two additional combat brigades to Afghanistan, and use this commitment to seek greater contributions - with fewer restrictions - from NATO allies.”

For the American people, the necessity is to step up our struggle and demand the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. and foreign troops from Afghanistan, and the restoration of the sovereign right of the Afghan people to determine their own affairs.