Detroit Workers' Voice #38

. The following article is from DWV #38, September 2, 2003, which is published by the Detroit Marxist-Leninist Study Group.

Resistance to US/British occupation rises as

Imperialist dictate replaces
Hussein's tyranny


Freedom to obey US imperialism
Imperialism and Islamic fundamentalism
Imperialist economics: privatization, plunder and poverty
Bush's weapons of mass deception
Democratic Party: multilateral imperialists
Class forces in Iraq
--Democratization and the different class trends--
--The right to self-determination for the Kurds--
--Social demands of the working masses--
--The role of class organization in the present period--
--For anti-imperialism and solidarity with the Iraqi masses--

. The Bush administration is bogged down in a quagmire in Iraq. It claimed that the downfall of Hussein marked a new era of freedom and democracy for the Iraqi people. But the Iraqi masses are not buying it. The vast majority of the population is glad to see Hussein gone. But whatever good will may have initially existed toward the US forces is rapidly fading. It's becoming increasingly clear to the Iraqi people that what the US is after is not democracy but conquest. They are seeing that the old military tyranny has been replaced by new military rulers whose priorities are not the welfare of the people, but turning Iraq into a US military base to watch over Middle East oil and a safe haven for capitalist corporations to make fat profits.

. Protests remain a common occurrence in response to the many outrages of the occupation. Meanwhile, the US troops face a guerrilla war, with an average of a dozen armed attacks launched against them each day. According to Bush, resistance to the occupation is simply the work of Hussein loyalists and Islamic holy warriors entering Iraq. It's true that some protests or armed actions may be carried out by such forces. But it's not love of Hussein or foreign guerrillas that's driving the growing hatred of the US/British occupation. It's the occupation itself.

. Faced with growing complaints and resistance, the US forces are lashing out at the population. They terrorize whole neighborhoods with house-to-house searches and mass arrests. They indiscriminately fire upon unarmed demonstrators and anyone unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity of their military actions. And while the US claims it respects peaceful dissent, it has cracked down on peaceful protests and imposed press censorship to shut up critics of the occupation.

. The growing problems faced by the US/British military rule in Iraq are discrediting Bush and Blair at home. Attention has been focused again on the official excuses for the war. The war has already put the Blair government into crisis, with top government officials resigning over the war. Bush is not yet in as deep a crisis. But as the administration flounders even some Republican officials began wondering out loud whether the Iraq fiasco will turn into a political liability for Bush come the next elections.

. The Democratic Party politicians are now chiding Bush for lying about WMDs and the post-war fiascoes. But as with Bush, it's imperialist interests and not the Iraqi people that they are worried about. That's why when the war started the Democrats solidly lined up behind Bush's war, despite certain misgivings. Now, as before the war, they prefer a multilateral approach where the US lets other capitalist powers and the UN share the burden of running Iraq. But such an occupation would still a form of imperialist rule. Indeed, the circumstances in Iraq are forcing the Bush administration to consider their own UN deal.

. Workers and activists should demand an end to the occupation, not try to find ways to salvage it via the UN and multilateral imperialism. But support for the struggle of the Iraqi working masses is not simply a matter of demanding that the imperialist powers get out, important as this is. It's also a matter of supporting the Iraqi working masses in their efforts to forge their own distinct class stand. Whether the workers, urban poor and small peasants are able to get organized and push their own class demands will determine how strong the anti-occupation struggle becomes. As well, it will determine the extent to which democratic rights exist for the oppressed and how far they are able to improve their living conditions. Moreover, it is only with the ascendancy of independent organizations of the workers and poor that serious measures can be taken to promote solidarity between different national and religious groups. This includes such issues as recognition of the right to self-determination for the oppressed Kurdish nationality, full rights to all minorities, and the separation of mosque and state.

Freedom to obey US imperialism

. According to Bush, this was a war to liberate the Iraqis. But the first months of the occupation show that it's not the Iraqi populace, but US generals and bureaucrats who are calling the shots in Iraq today. Their main activity toward establishing a future Iraqi government is finding members of the Iraqi elite who will be compliant to the US

. All across Iraq there are cries for elections. Instead, the US recently appointed a pseudo-governmental body called the Iraqi Governing Council. It consists of a hodge-podge of forces representing the interests of different sections of the Iraqi bourgeoisie who were anti-Hussein. No Iraqi voted for this body to exist or for any of its members. But that doesn't stop the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and Bush from hailing it as the representative of all facets of the Iraqi population. Nor does it have any real power. All final decisions rest with CPA leader L. Paul Bremer. So the Iraqi Governing Council will have the right to do whatever it wants, so long as it's acceptable to the military occupation regime.

. With opposition mounting to the US occupation, the US authorities keep promising they will have elections, and then Iraqis will run things. But nothing is definite. The US military authorities will decide when and if elections are held based on their own whims. On June 28, US military commanders stopped local elections in a number of cities and towns across Iraq, instead installing their own hand-picked officials. Occupation leader Bremer explained the decision to cancel the local elections. He stated there was "no blanket prohibition" against them "but I want to do it in a way that takes care of our concerns. Elections that are held too early can be destructive. It's got to be done very carefully. " So Bremer's for some elections, provided they take care of the concerns of the imperialist overlords. Bremer left no doubt what those "concerns" were. He stated "In a postwar situation like this, if you start holding elections, the people who are rejectionists tend to win. It's often the best-organized who win, and the best-organized right now are the former Baathists and to some extent the Islamists. " In other words, since Bremer thinks the outcome of the elections will not be acceptable to US imperialism, he has the right to cancel them.

Imperialism and Islamic fundamentalism

. But what about the ex-Baathists and Islamic fundamentalists? True, they are not democratic. But this can't justify the CPA military occupation. This is also a tyrannical force. It isn't democratic to enforce one dictatorship in the name of avoiding another. A democratic outcome in Iraq today depends on the masses fighting both the occupation and the reactionary Iraqi trends.

. Indeed, US imperialism has shown they have no consistent or principled opposition toward either the Baathists remnants or the fundamentalist clerics. The occupation regime has shown it will maneuver with these dregs when it suits their interests, despite the contradictions with them, or may turn on them when they no longer suit imperialism's needs of the moment. Thus, the US and British military authorities installed discredited ex-Baathists in power in various cities, much to the anger of the population.

. Likewise, while Bremer frets about Islamic fundamentalists taking over, the US is wheeling and dealing with the Islamic clerics as well. A number of Shia and Sunni clerics were appointed to the Iraqi Governing Council. And this includes some who favor an Islamic theocratic state, if not now, at least when the opportunity presents itself. Thus, for the moment at least, the US is trying to co-opt, among others, the leaders of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution (SCIRI) in Iraq, a trend with sympathies for the hard-line ayatollah's running Iran. The car bomb attack at the end of August which killed Ayatollah Muhammad Bakr al-Hakim and scores of others again tested the love-hate relationship between the SCIRI and the US The SCIRI isn't abandoning the Governing Council. But the ayatollah's brother, Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim, who represents the SCIRI on the Iraqi Governing Council, denounced the US as "primarily responsible" for the bloodshed and emphasized the need for the US to leave Iraq. Meanwhile, another Shia cleric on the Governing Council temporarily suspended himself from the Council to protest the occupation regime's security failures.

. While at times US imperialism has found it convenient to directly back Islamic fanatics, Islamic fundamentalism has grown in strength largely due to crimes of imperialism and repressive secular regimes (e. g. , Egypt and Turkey) and theocratic Israel, which are backed by the US The military occupation, with its callous attitude to the problems of the masses, has furthered played into the hands of the Islamic clerics.

. Of course while Bremer calls attention to Baathists and Islamists, the occupation regime considers resistance to its occupation from any quarter to be criminal. For example, in early June, Bremer issued "order no. 7" allowing him the power to censor any opposition media and any protests he chooses.

Imperialist economics: privatization, plunder and poverty

. While the US goes through it parody of democracy, the real decisions are being made behind the scenes by the imperialists. They are shaping the economy in their own image regardless of what the Iraqi people want. The imperialists have decided that Iraq should follow the neo-liberal dogma of privatization and worship of free-market capitalism. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld spelled this out in May, stating that the new economic policies in Iraq will "favor market systems" and "encourage moves to privatize state enterprises. " Although privatization was under way even under Hussein's tyranny, Iraq still had a sizable state sector which controlled key sectors of the economy. Thus, privatization is potentially a big profit bonanza to the multinational corporations who would replace the old state sector. As an advisor on privatization and former Enron exec Michael Bleyzer it, Iraq needs a "market economy" because there "would be a much better business environment if BP or Exxon-Mobil or Shell could invest. We want to set up a business environment where global companies like Coca Cola and McDonald's could come in and create a diversified economy not dependent on oil. " In other words, the economic priority of the occupation should be economic domination of the multinationals, not the needs of the Iraqi people.

. The US/British regime has taken over the formerly nationalized oil industry, the lifeline of the economy, as well as banking. The takeover of oil/gas and banking plays the key role in assuring the multinationals make a windfall during the rebuilding process. Revenues from oil and gas are to go to the bank as a so-called "Iraqi Assistance Fund". The Fund's advisory board includes international capitalist bloodsuckers like the IMF and World Bank, although how the money is spent will mainly be up to the US and Britain. Naturally then, the first who will be assisted by the fund will be the corporate giants. It's reported that the US Export-Import Bank as well as lobbyists for oil and construction giants like Halliburton, Bechtel, Chevron and Texaco have pushed for oil money to be spent on infrastructure and industrial projects they want to undertake. Already lucrative contract have been handed out to companies with ties to Bush-Cheney. Cheney's corporate alma mater, Halliburton has already grabbed contracts worth as much as $7 billion.

. Imperialism doesn't care about the Iraqi people, only profit and plunder. With such priorities, it's little wonder that several months into the occupation, even the simplest emergency relief measures crawl along at a snails pace. Thanks to Hussein and US sanctions and war, the economy is a shambles. Over half the workforce is unemployed. .

. The lack of progress in alleviating the plight of the masses is not simply incompetence, but reflects the bourgeoisie's callous free-market agenda applied to Iraq. Bush advisor Richard Perle lectures "not to turn [Iraq] over to institutions incapable of seeing this through to a successful conclusion. . . the last thing the Iraqis need is French statism or German labor practices. " What Perle is targeting are the social welfare measures which exist in these countries, though in fact the bourgeoisie in France and Germany is doing its best to erode these measures. For Perle, the worst thing would be if the Iraqi workers and poor had some protections. Why that would interfere with using them as slave labor!

Bush's weapons of mass deception

. The longer the military occupation lasts, the clearer it is that it's purpose is to reshape the political and economic structures of Iraq to suit the aims of US imperialism. And if the nature of the occupation confirms the correctness of the anti-war movement's claims that it was a war for oil and empire, then it also highlights that the official reasons given by Bush and Blair were a fraud.

. Even if Hussein had all the WMDs and intent to attack that Bush and Blair claimed, the war would have been unjust on both sides. This war had the same basic underlying cause as Gulf War I. The world's superpower bully, US imperialism, wanted to maintain its domination of the Middle East and it's oil. The tyrant Hussein wanted Iraq to extend its own power in the region. But in fact the Bush and Blair administrations lied about their so-called evidence.

. Before the war, the Bush administration mocked the UN inspectors for not finding weapons. The administration and the bourgeois press were full of stories about all the solid intelligence that had been gathered on the whereabouts of WMDs. But after several months of having limitless access to Iraq, the US has found no vast WMD arsenals and no nuclear facilities. Even Lt. General James Conway, charged with finding such weapons, admits that if they found nothing, "Believe me, it's not for lack of trying" and that stories about a vast chemical weapons arsenal ready to be hurled at advancing US troops was "simply wrong. " Before the war, the US complained that once Hussein was removed they would learn where the weapons were hidden from Iraqi scientists. Well, the Iraqi scientists are in US hands. But they insist the WMD programs were dismantled. For example, the Bush administration crowed when the Iraqi scientist who headed up Hussein's uranium enrichment program revealed that some centrifuge parts used for this enrichment were buried in his back yard. But what Bush failed to mention was even this forthcoming scientist stated that since 1991, the Iraqi nuclear weapons program had been mothballed. Similarly, Bush raised that the discovery of some aluminum tubes was proof of the Iraqi nuclear program only to be refuted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

. One of the most publicized examples of official disinformation involved Bush's claim in the State of the Union speech that Iraq was meeting with the government of an African country [Niger--ed. ] to procure uranium for nuclear weapons. The evidence for this was a document was that was such an obvious forgery that it was "signed" by an official in Niger who was many years out of office at the time the document was allegedly signed. In attempting to bolster his lies about WMDs, Bush released a July report. But this very report says the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research said: "Claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa. . . are highly dubious" and "The activities we have detected do not. . . add up to a compelling case that Iraq is currently pursuing. . . an integrated and comprehensive approach to acquire nuclear weapons. "

. The concerted campaign of deception shows how Bush's doctrine of "pre-emptive war" is simply a cover for the US going after anyone it wants. Now the administration is lowering the threshold for war still further. They are arguing that even if there's no solid evidence that a potential enemy has WMDs, the US has a right to pre-emptive attack. Thus, on July 27, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz stated on TV's "Meet the Press" that intelligence on terrorism is always "murky" and therefore, "If you wait until the intelligence picture is clear, you are going to have to wait until something terrible has happened. " Wolfowitz gave the same message during an interview with conservative radio personality Laura Ingraham, in reference to the alleged ties between Hussein and the al-Qaeda terrorists. When asked when he first thought Iraq was behind the 9-11 atrocity, Wolfowitz said "I'm not sure even now that I would say Iraq had something to do with it. " Thus the Deputy Secretary of Defense effectively demolishes last year's claim by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld of having "bulletproof" evidence from US intelligence agencies of links between Hussein and al-Qaeda. Wolfowitz then went on to justify the war as a blow against terrorism anyway.

Democratic Party: multilateral imperialists

. The problems in Iraq and the scandals at home have taken their toll on Bush. His approval ratings in the polls have greatly fallen since before the war. Indeed, even the Democrats, who rolled over and played dead when Bush declared war and who wanted to avoid confronting Bush on foreign policy, now suddenly see an opportunity to advance their political ambitions by challenging the administration's Iraq policy.

. But the Democrats are not for peace, but for a multilateral imperialist policy. Look at the stands of their presidential candidates. Some like Lieberman and Kerry voted in Congress to let Bush have a free hand to attack Iraq. They often try to look more militarist than Bush and campaign that they would do a better job of using the military to protect the US world empire. Kerry, for instance, wants to build up the Navy in particular so the US won't have to rely as much on ground bases, or cooperation from other countries, when it launches new wars. Kerry doesn't oppose imperialist war but now complains that had the Iraq war been carried out in a multilateral fashion, the US conquest would come cheaper and free up more forces for aggression elsewhere under the phony banner of the war on terrorism.

. Even the most liberal Democratic candidates are imperialist to the core. Howard Dean thought that the US could maintain its domination of the Middle East without an immediate war against Hussein. But since he agreed with the general idea of imperialist domination of the Middle East, he could only hope that Bush's war and his plans to take over Iraq turned out well. Thus, although Dean had his doubts on the war he stated, "If we go to war, I certainly hope the Administration's assumptions are realized and the conflict is swift, successful and clean. " After the war, Dean has not demanded an end to the occupation. Instead he says the US can't withdraw now and that more troops from the US and other countries are needed to bolster the occupation regime.

. Dennis Kucinich claims to be the staunchest Democratic peace candidate. But though his rhetoric is more pacifist, his idea of a peaceful solution in Iraq in reality turns out to be a multilateral imperialist occupation. He likes to emphasize he's for withdrawing US troops, but he would do so only if the UN took over running Iraq. But bringing in the UN does not end imperialist rule over Iraq but merely changes its form. The UN is not an obstacle to the big capitalist powers lording over the world. It didn't stay the hand of the US when it launched a unilateral war. It has supported the US/British occupation regime and the Iraqi Governing Council it set up to give imperialist rule an Iraqi cover. If the UN where to take over, it would require agreement between the US and the other major capitalist powers. Thus it would represent not the interests of the Iraqi masses, but the common imperialist interests of the US and Britain with France, Germany, Russia, etc.

Class forces in Iraq

. While the imperialist politicians debate the best way to occupy Iraq, the Iraqi working masses are simmering with discontent. Anti-occupation protests have continued to break out and armed guerrillas are launching daily attacks on the occupation forces. The struggle against the military occupation must be encouraged. But the strength of this struggle, its vision of what should replace the occupation, and whether or not the struggle raises demands to deal with the social problems of the working masses depends on the extent to which different Iraqi class and political trends have influence. To what extent the working class and poor are able to develop their own independent motion will determine whether the anti-occupation struggle fulfills the democratic and social aspirations of the downtrodden classes.

--Democratization and the different class trends--

. One of the burning issues of the current period is democratization. The Iraqi masses longed to be rid of Hussein's tyranny, but the occupation regime has brought a new kind of repression, not democracy. Yet a section of the anti-Hussein bourgeois trends has already made a truce, albeit an uneasy one in certain cases, with the occupation. The most clear expression of this is the sham Iraqi Governing Council.

. The trends in the Iraqi governing council were drawn from the anti-Hussein bourgeoisie, but of course there have also been sections of the Iraqi bourgeoisie that favored the Baathist regime. Part of the Sunni elite still harbors hopes that the old situation will be restored as Hussein's rule meant special privileges for them. In the present situation this section fights for its survival as a political force against the occupation forces. But this obviously is not a trend that cares about democracy or the masses' well-being

. Some of the fundamentalist Shia trends persecuted by Hussein are also against the US/British occupation and at this time are being excluded from all plans for Iraqi governing bodies. However these are not democratic trends, either. They want to replace secular tyranny with theocratic oppression. The anti-democratic and anti-worker nature of the religious zealots is already being amply demonstrated. Fundamentalist gangs have attacked demonstrations of unemployed workers demanding relief from the occupation authorities and have attacked activists and offices of left-wing groups organizing among the workers. If the working masses are to have the freedom to have their own independent class voice and to build their own workplace and trade union organizations and political parties they must fight not only against the occupation, but against a variety of Iraqi bourgeois trends, both pro- and anti-occupation.

--The right to self-determination for the Kurds--

. One of the hallmarks of true democratic change in Iraq is the recognition of the right to self-determination of the Kurds. The Kurds comprise about 20% of the population and are concentrated in a large area of northern Iraq which borders predominantly Kurdish areas of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. The right of self-determination includes the right of the oppressed Kurds in Iraq and these other countries to form their own independent state if they so chose. But neither US imperialism nor the non-Kurdish elites in Iraq will allow this. At most they will grant some kind of autonomy in a federated Iraq. The biggest Kurdish groups are the bourgeois nationalist KDP and PUK who are reconciled to autonomy in a federated Iraq for now. They are in an alliance with US imperialism that undercuts the unity of the working masses in Iraq against the occupation. The bourgeois nationalists also connive in the persecution of non-Kurdish minorities in their region such as the Turkomans, the Assyrians, and Shias from the south relocated by Hussein.

. The nascent working class trends in Iraq must stand for self-determination of the Iraqi people. It is elemental democracy that the Kurds should decide for themselves whether they want to remain part of Iraq or separate off. From the standpoint of working class unity, this is also essential. It is only by granting freedom to the oppressed national groups that the divisions among the working people can be overcome. Likewise, for the Kurdish working people, the struggle for unity with their class sisters and brothers across Iraq, can only take place by opposing their bourgeois nationalist leaders. They must unite in struggle with the Iraqi working masses opposing the imperialist occupation and against the shameful alliance between the KDP and PUK and the US overlords. As well, the Kurdish working people must demand an end to the persecution of non-Kurdish minorities that has been carried out with the connivance of the bourgeois nationalists. The rights of the minority Turkoman and Assyrian populations, who have long lived in the mainly Kurdish areas, as well as Shia who were forcibly relocated to this region by Hussein, must be respected.

--Social demands of the working masses--

. Like the fight for democratic rights, the fight for improvements in the social conditions of the masses is intertwined with the struggle of classes in Iraq. If the occupation regime can manage to eventually restore electricity and some other basic infrastructure, that might tone down the anger of the masses for a while. But the economic hardships run much deeper than that and since the Bush administration is intent on letting the market forces solve this situation, the Iraqi people can look forward to more suffering. So while today the mass demands center around restoration of basic services, tomorrow they will continue against the damage done by unrestrained market capitalism.

. The Iraqi working masses can hardly count on the Iraqi bourgeoisie to champion their social demands. The Iraqi bourgeois nationalists, whether anti- or pro-Hussein, along with the Islamic fundamentalist clerics, all are in favor of class exploitation, albeit in different forms. Indeed, while the clerics often pose as most concerned about charity for the poor, they have shown themselves to be shock troops against the threat of class organization. Moreover, the last few months has shown how the class nature of the Iraqi elites in general makes them susceptible to being pacified by the occupation regime. If the occupation regime can establish some economic order and assure the more privileged and wealthy elements in Iraq that they will get their cut of the profits, then they will be more reconciled to being junior partners to imperialism in lording over the masses.

. In any case, the fight for better workplace and social conditions for the workers and poor depends on how well they are able to develop their own independent economic and political organizations. The more the bourgeois sections are co-opted and the more they benefit under new market reforms, the more will the anti-occupation struggle be dependent upon the strength of the class struggle.

--The role of class organization in the present period--

. What then are the prospects for the Iraqi masses? At present they are in a very difficult situation. There is great sentiment against the occupation and the local exploiters among the working masses, but they lack organization. This has given the opportunity for more powerful trends such as the Shia fundamentalists, and in some Sunni areas, pro-Baath remnants, to channel anti-occupation sentiments behind their reactionary aims. Class trends are also weak in the Kurdish movement where the pro-occupation bourgeois nationalist forces of the KDP and PUK hold sway.

. The only way there can be a consistent fight against imperialism and the bourgeois nationalist and clerical trends in Iraq is through the development of a revolutionary trend based on the workers. It is the workers who feel most the indignities of the occupation and whose needs are shunted aside by the Iraqi bourgeois nationalists and clerics. Today they must fight for immediate relief measures and tomorrow they will have to defend themselves against the onslaught of free-market reforms. While each of the bourgeois parties pit against each other the masses of each national or religious grouping in order to strengthen their section of the wealthy, the workers' interests require class-wide solidarity. Thus, only the workers can consistently defend the right to self-determination and protect minorities from discrimination. While the Iraqi elites would be happy to see rights for themselves, they fear an organized proletariat. It's the workers whose most want to see the fullest democratic rights, which will create the best conditions for the masses to organize themselves. Given its antagonism to all the exploiters, a revolutionary workers trend could put forward demands not only on its own behalf, but on behalf of other forces suffering class oppression such as the urban poor and the peasant masses.

. If the workers can establish their own revolutionary trend, and if such a trend can rally around itself a strong independent movement of all the working people for their own demands, they can link the anti-occupation struggle with the pressing class demands of this period. Such a revolutionary-democratic movement would not in itself eliminate capitalist exploitation . But it would provide the most favorable outcome to the anti-occupation struggle. In so doing it would put the workers in the best position to accomplish its ultimate mission of rallying the urban and rural poor to overthrow capitalism itself and establish a socialist society.

. None of this can happen unless the class conscious workers themselves are organized. But this process, the process of building a genuine communist party, is just beginning. The Iraqi Communist Party is not such a party. It has served as the left fringe of a variety of bourgeois nationalist trends, even forming a coalition with the Baath Party at one time. It promoted the UN, which sanctions the US/British regime, as the alternative to the occupation. Now it is part of the sham Iraqi Governing Council. There is also the Workers Communist Party of Iraq (WCPI), a party founded in 1993 that has begun to establish offices in different regions of Iraq. It's "left communist" orientation is problematic as it tries to reconcile Marxism-Leninism with semi-anarchist positions. To its credit, it has had a hand in some of the demonstrations of the unemployed and in attempting to draw women into the class battles. And it stood up to the attacks of Islamic gangs and the occupation forces. But its "left communism", while seeming very revolutionary, has made it difficult to find the way forward in a situation where the fanatic religious trends will push for power should the occupation regime withdraw. Thus, the WCPI also creates illusions in a temporary UN administration of Iraq as an alternative to the present situation.

--For anti-imperialism and solidarity with the Iraqi masses--

. Workers and anti-war activists in the US must stand in solidarity with the Iraqi masses. The only force that can liberate the toilers of Iraq are the toilers themselves. Therefore, every step toward reviving class organization in Iraq should be supported.

. Meanwhile, a class orientation is also essential in the US in order to build up opposition to the occupation. The source of such imperialist adventures is not simply the Bush administration and its neo-conservative advisors. Imperialism is a bipartisan product of the bourgeoisie as a class. That's why the Democrats caved in to Bush's war crusade. And it's why their criticism of the war is not that the US has no right to impose its domination of the Middle East, but that a multilateral approach with other capitalist powers and the UN would be successful in insuring US domination. Anti-war activists should not fall for the old trick of supporting the alleged "lesser evil" Democratic critics of Bush, but should work to build a trend independent of the bourgeoisie, whether unilateralist or multilateralist. Such a trend should target not just Bush, but imperialism itself. It should not place its hopes on the squabbles between imperialist politicians, but on the workers and other oppressed. It is the working masses who bear the burden of imperialist conflicts and it is they who must be brought into the ranks of struggle against the occupation and its basis, the capitalist exploiters. <>

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