End Criminal War in Afghanistan
Organize for an Anti-War Government
People in the U.S. are joining those worldwide to denounce the criminal U.S. war against Afghanistan and demand All U.S. Troops Home Now! Few in the country are fooled by government claims that the war in Afghanistan is winding down, given that permanent bases are being built and occupied. Even with planned troop withdrawals at least 170,000 U.S. troops and mercenaries will remain as well as tens of thousands of NATO troops.
The U.S. is insisting that the people of Afghanistan – who have their own history and thinking, which includes never accepting occupation – submit to U.S.-style democracy. It is the U.S. who is to decide who does or does not govern in Afghanistan, participate in elections, even which non governmental organizations will exist. It is a democracy founded and sustained on genocide and aggression and one that clearly is not functioning in the U.S. Ten years of criminal unjust war is a sign of degeneration, not democracy. The refusal to submit to the firm will of the people here and in Afghanistan to End the U.S. Wars Now! is evidence of this.
The people of Afghanistan have shown their resilience and firm stand against U.S. aggression. They again demonstrated October 7, the tenth anniversary of the U.S. invasion, demanding immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops. Representing the will of the people, they chanted No to Occupation! U.S. Out! as they marched through the streets of Kabul, the capital.
Demonstrations against U.S. wars occurred in the U.S. October 8 and many more are also organized for October 15, an international day of action against war and for rights. Cities large and small are participating, including, Augusta, Maine; Boston; Manchester, New Hampshire; New York City; Hartford, Connecticut; Philadelphia; Trenton, New Jersey; DC; Albany, New York; Pittsburgh; Chicago; Milwaukee; Minneapolis; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco; Los Angeles; Santa Cruz; San Jose and more.
The stand of the peoples here and worldwide is firm and clear. The U.S. wars of aggression are crimes against the peace and crimes against humanity. The path to peace is to end them now! All U.S. troops must come home now and stay home!
The ten-years of U.S. aggression and state terrorism has revealed for all to see that it is U.S. state-sponsored terrorism that is endangering the peoples of the region and the world. As U.S. Air Force retired Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski put it recently, “We are going to stay. We build permanent bases and we want to terrorize Pakistan, Iran, and be there to look over the mountains into China.” She emphasized the U.S. plans to stay, adding “We like these military bases too well, we like the minerals, and we like the geographic positioning Afghanistan provides our military.”
The U.S. continues to repeatedly lie about conditions, while also stepping up its open lawlessness, terrorizing the peoples with drones, assassinations, and bombing at will, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and the whole region. And now Iran is again being threatened, with more lies that it is the one acting in a “dangerous and reckless” manner. We say Hands Off Iran! NO to sanctions and yet more U.S. violence!
The brutality of the government to talk about providing “democracy” and a “lasting peace,” while using violence and might makes right, is in part aimed at humiliating the people, forcing them to accept a government that openly lies about such vital matters of war and peace and openly dismisses the demands of the peoples, abroad and at home, for an end to the wars and occupations.
The rulers are attempting to impose the notion that the people, in Afghanistan, Iran or the U.S., have no role to play. It is to rob the people of their mission to fight for their rights and for governments that empower the people themselves. It is an attempt to deny that U.S.-style democracy has shown that it cannot solve any problem, abroad or at home. It is outdated and cannot be the model for anyone, least of all Americans.
The problem at hand is not so much exposure of the lies of government about the U.S. war and occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Libya but organizing to bring into being an anti-war government of the people, where the demands and desires of the people for peace and international relations based on equality and mutual benefit can be achieved. The 2012 election season is a time to advance our own anti-war program and our own town halls to debate the vital problem of advancing the fight for political empowerment. It is organizing for an anti-war government that brings troops home and recognizes the rights of all that can provide a way forward.
The U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization is putting the necessity for political empowerment, where the people themselves govern and decide. The fight for an anti-war government embodies this demand at this time. We are putting the following program forward for discussion and debate as a starting point for an anti-war government:
1) Outlaw any and all U.S. involvement in wars of aggression and the use of force in settling conflicts between nations and peoples;
2) All U.S. Troops Home Now;
3) Cancel the Debts of all the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America;
4) Pay Reparations Now for all the crimes of slavery and all crimes of the U.S. government, present and past;
5) End all support for Israel and act to end the occupation of Palestine now, beginning with withdrawal to the 1967 borders.
6) Stop the Raids and Deportations. Legalization for all now.
7) Stop Funding War, Stop Paying the Rich, Increase Funding for Social Programs
A Chauvinist Appeal to Make America Great
on the Backs of the Working Class
President Barack Obama spoke to the nation September 8, addressing a joint session of Congress. Presented as a speech on jobs, Obama outlined legislation he is putting forward, called the “America Jobs Act.” According to Obama the bill “Will lead to new jobs for construction workers, for teachers, for veterans, for first responders, young people and the long-term unemployed.” He does not give a number for the jobs expected. And the legislation relies mainly on pay-the-rich schemes, such as tax incentives to companies to hire workers. This includes, for example a $4,000 tax credit to companies that hire the long-term unemployed and $5,600 for unemployed veterans. A fund of $140 billion is being made available to the monopolies for hiring workers.
Such schemes are notorious for handing public funds over to the rich while few jobs are actually created, especially permanent ones. And the monopolies involved are not held accountable for this robbery of the public treasury.
There will also be $25 billion for rebuilding schools and $50 billion for infrastructure. These funds will go to the “private companies ready to do the work,” as Obama has put it. Thus more than $200 billion is being handed over to the rich for infrastructure they require but do not pay for! There is no doubt schools and infrastructure need rebuilding. The issue is that funding should be provided in the opposite direction – the monopolies should provide the funds to the government. Government should secure these funds at the point of production as its rightful claim on the wealth produced.
The amount of funding dedicated to additional plans is small relative to the high levels of unemployment and continuing economic crisis. For example, for rehiring teachers and first responders there is $35 billion. There is $15 billion to “put construction workers on the job rehabilitating and refurbishing hundreds of thousands of vacant and foreclosed homes and businesses.” Again, the actual funds will likely be given to construction monopolies with few guarantees as to the numbers hired, national minorities involved, wages and benefits paid and so forth. The proposal also includes payroll tax cuts for workers, of about $1,000 per year and also cuts payroll taxes for employers in half.
In addition, Obama emphasized that the legislation will be paid for by making an equivalent amount of cuts to social programs, including Medicaid and Medicare (a total of $447 billion for the various incentives and programs). Concerning these healthcare programs for the poor and elderly, Obama said it was necessary to “reform the system while protecting current beneficiaries.” This language commonly means that benefits for new beneficiaries will be cut and a two-tier system put in place
As Obama pointed out in his speech, $1 trillion in cuts were already made as a part of the “debt” deal and another $1.5 trillion are required by the end of the year by the congressional Super Committee appointed. This additional amount means $3 trillion in cuts to social services are being imposed over the next ten years. This compares to the $35 billion for teachers and firefighters and $15 billion for construction workers. And of course to the almost $1 trillion yearly budget of the Pentagon and the additional hundreds of billions in yearly funding for aggressive wars. And the more than $16 trillion already handed over to the Wall Street financiers. There is $20 trillion for wars and paying the rich and $50 billion for teachers, first responders and construction workers. There is an immediate solution: Stop Paying the Rich! Stop Funding War! Increase Fuding for Social Programs!
While Obama did emphasize that government has an important role in building the country, he did it from the perspective of the rich and making the monopolies competitive on the global markets. Throughout the speech he attempted to use the chauvinism of the U.S. ruling classes to win backing for the proposed pay-the-rich schemes. As he put it, “This task of making America more competitive for the long haul, that’s a job for all of us. For government and for private companies. For states and for local communities — and for every American citizen. All of us will have to up our game. All of us will have to change the way we do business. And on all of our efforts to strengthen competitiveness, we need to look for ways to work side by side with America’s businesses.”
During the current crisis and for decades before, Americans have experience with working to make the monopolies competitive on the global markets. It means more wars, more concessions, more attacks on rights. Obama’s appeal is for workers to ignore the experience that Concessions Are Not Solutions! Budget Cuts Are Not Solutions!
It is the social responsibility of government to defend the rights of the people, to advance public right and restrict the monopolies. The current direction of the economy, based on the chauvinism of making the U.S. monopolies #1, is untenable. A new direction for the economy is needed. Putting the rights of all, abroad and at home at the center, is the way forward. This would contribute to the peace and prosperity of the peoples.
In speaking to a joint session of Congress, Obama attempted to position himself as the solution, and Congress as the problem. He then moved immediately to start going across the country, again appealing to the people to agree with him, while blaming Congress. This is an effort to divert from the fact that Obama’s proposals will increase the government’s pay-the-rich schemes and bring further attacks on the people. It is an effort to convince people angered with the current direction to blame Congress, rather than targeting a political system that keeps the people out of power and the rich in power. Advancing the fight for empowerment of the people themselves, including stepping up resistance and putting defense of the rights of all center stage is the requirement of the times.
Stop Paying the Rich! Stop Funding War! Increase Funding for Social Programs!