Thursday, October 18

Democrats Revealing Their True Colors

Its no secret anymore, the War on Iraq is a horrific crime. With over a million civilians dead, thousands of working class youth, forced into the army, because they have no other path, to kill other exploited and oppressed people, maimed and buried, with the largest refugee crisis in the middle east since the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their land in 1948, with the country's infrastructure bombed to rubble, with people being deprived of basic needs like clean drinking water and electricity, and with kids afraid to go to school not because of bullies, but because they're afraid of being killed by the occupation, its hard to deem the War on Iraq and its consequences anything but the barbarism of an imperialist occupation and a crime against humanity.

Yet despite this, it didn't come as a suprise to me, when a week or two ago, top democratic candidates for the 2008 election refused to promise that they'd have the troops out of Iraq by 2013. It didn't suprise me that Clinton, Obama, and Edwards took the exact position that they were voted into power to act firmly and immediatly against. What did suprise me a little, I guess, was that they were honest that they would not end this colonial occupation and that they are truly not the anti-war party that they have framed themselves to be.

As a Marxist-Leninist, I've always known that the Democrats are a ruling class party. I've known that the democrats are complicit with the war. They are the ones who voted for it, fund(ed) it, armed it, and are now running it, but what's frustrating as a Anti-War activist and someone who has done a lot of organizing against the war, is seeing people continue to think that the democrats are going to end this occupation, like activists in the UFPJ continue to think despite all signs signaling the opposite. This position is detrimental. The fact of the matter is that the democrats are complicit in this war. They are a ruling class party and this war is key to their ruling class interests.

The ruling class in the US needs this war. Earlier this year, Bush toured Latin America. He went from country to country, town to town, and every place he went, he was followed by angry, militant, anti-imperialist working class protestors. The oppressed of Latin America poured out into the streets in opposition of the Bush agenda. It was a expression of the fact that the people of Latin America are tired of NAFTA and CAFTA kicking farmers of their land, they are tired of the brutal exploitation for low wages, and of the plunder of their countries' resources for private profit. The fact that so many people took action against Bush's tour is a reflection of why the War in Iraq is so crucial to the US. There is growing Anti-imperial sentiment in Latin America, headed by Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela alongside Cuba, but also with countries like Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia, US interests in Latin America are threatened like they haven't been since the Sandinistas and the July 26th Movement seized power in the height of the "cold war". But what's different today is that it is oil in particular that is threatened alongside other markets, while in the past in Cuba and Nicargua and Chile it was soley crops like sugar and bananas. The difference is that oil is what makes the system run, oil fuels everything. Oil equals your electricity, transporation, heating etc.. oil is energy. Sugar and bananas, while valuable, is far less important than oil. The Bolivarian Revolution everyday moves to deprive the US of imperial domination of the vast oil fields of Venezuela, a country which has always historically been a major exporter of oil to the US. The US ruling class has extracted a fantastic amount of surplus wealth/profit from Venezuela's oil industry over the years and put it in their pockets. But now with the oil industry nationalized and the wealth rather than going to corporate executives pockets, it is going to fund people's needs. Whats more dangerous, other countries are following Venezuela's lead! To the shock and horror of the wealthy elite in the US, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Bolivia have joined Venezuela (to different extents) and formed ALBA, the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America, a anti-imperialist trading bloc based on mutual benefit of oppressed Latin American countries, not on the robbery of one country by another. This alongside Iran's growing influence in the Middle East and its own deprivation of US imperialists of its oil fields, the US more than ever needs to secure oil markets. Iraq is just that oil market that needs to be secured.

Securing Iraq would mean that the US could clamp down on Venezuela and Iran, it could embargo left and right and take action to crush the rising Anti-US sentiments in Latin America. Pulling out of Iraq though, would mean the US loses that market, and it loses the potential of controlling the Middle East and its oil in the way that it finds ideal.

Thus its no suprise the democrats are hesitant to say they won't pull out Iraq by the end of their term limit, they hold just as much interest in staying there as the Republicans do!


Renegade Eye said...

Isn't creating illusions in the Democratic Party, telling people that politicians from the Democratic Party would impeach Bush and Cheney? I know you don't believe the state will indict itself.

I think the Democrats are open to a military draft, to settle their conscriptions problems.

The alternative to Dems is a campaign like Malcolm Suber's in New Orleans.

Dave Marlow said...

Calling them a "ruling class party" is not enough; the Democratic Party is the proponent of what Marx called "conservative socialism", in that they promote small victories for the working class while denying the true causes for their oppression. Unfortunately because they differentiate themselves from the Republican Party, the workers are conned into believing that diversity exists in American politics.

Dennis Kucinich is slowly finding this out. I think he would find a receptive audience if he denounced his ties with the Democrats, akin to the Ron Paul phenomena.

Renegade Eye said...

Kucinich pulled a bait and switch in 2004, being antiwar, then when it came to the end, he supported Kerry.

The Greens are putting up Cynthia McKinney.

Dave Marlow said...

That's what I mean, though. If he once and for all separated from the party, he would be a much more attractive candidate to the American left.

LeftyHenry said...


Well I don't think the Democratic Party will impeach Bush and Cheney. I agree, and that's one of the many reasons why I decided to break with the RCP/WCW.


Well the thing is I don't even think they try to promote small gains for the working class. But I do see your point. They do attempt to appeal to the working class needs more than the republicans, they then don't follow through and instead follow their ruling class interests, and when people complain, they basically are just like, "well who ya gonna vote for? The Republicans??"

Renegade Eye said...

I didn't know you broke with RCP.

Locally the biggest Maoist group here, is Freedom Road Socialist Organization. They are to the right of RCP.