United States

Pakistan coup: Result of imperialist rivalries

The October military coup in Pakistan marked a serious intensification of instability in South Asia. The new military leader General Pervaiz Musharraf reassured the 'international community' about his peaceful intentions and the military's determination to try and rescue the collapsing economy and to fight endemic corruption. But, this was only cover for a bitter struggle within the Pakistani bourgeoisie, above all over imperialist strategy.

East Timor: New expression of chaos and barbarity

But these events are also the product of the collapse of the eastern bloc ten years ago, which ended the period of the two imperialist blocs around the USA and the USSR. They are a new manifestation of the tendency towards chaos and 'every man for himself' which has grown more and more marked since then, and has given rise to an explosion of nationalism across the globe. 

Chechnya: massacres continue with the blessing of the western powers

Caught between the anvil of the local mafia gangs under Maskhalov and Bassev, who are wrangling over who controls the country, and the Russian military, often forced to join up behind one or the other, nearly two million people are hostages and victims of this new imperialist war. The bombing goes on, devastating entire villages. Yeltsin, a blood-stained buffoon who is a worthy successor to Stalin, has been using one of the classic Stalinist recipes for mass repression: you encircle an area and massacre everyone in it.

Class struggle in the USA

In the last issue of WR we carried an article on the railway strike in France. This strike took place against a background of growing discontent and agitation in numerous sectors of the working class. This movement was particularly significant in that it has developed during the Balkans war and despite the campaigns of the ruling class to strengthen the ideology of "national unity" around"national unity" around the war effort. In early June, there was a further expression of this combative mood in the working class: a spontaneous strike around the question of safety in the metro, which rapidly spread to the whole of the metro system and the urban railway in Paris, and also to transport workers in Marseilles and Lyon. Although quickly isolated by the unions, the speed of the workers' reaction was above all an expression of an exasperation with deteriorating wages and working conditions that is common to wide layers of the working class.

The bombings in Madrid: Capitalism sows death

The bombings in Madrid

Thursday, 11th March, 7 o'clock in the morning: bombs blast a train in a working-class district of Madrid. The bombs of capitalist war have once again struck a defenceless civilian population, just as blindly as they did when they dropped on Guernica, or during the bombardments of World War II. The bombs “dropped” indiscriminately against men, women, children, adolescents, and even against immigrants from “muslim” countries who in some cases - to render tragedy still more tragic - did not even dare to come forward to claim the bodies of their dead for fear of being arrested and expelled from the country as a result of their illegal status.

Capitalist society is sinking into the barbarism of war

The re-election of George Bush in the USA has led many commentators, especially in Europe, to warn about the danger of new military adventures by the US superpower. And it's quite true that while the ruins of Fallujah are still smoking, the mouthpieces of the Bush administration are already making threatening noises about Iran. The replacement of the 'moderate' Colin Powell as Secretary of State by the 'hawk' Condoleeza Rice is another indication that the US war machine is going to grind forward remorselessly in the period ahead.

ICC Congress resolution on the international situation

14th Congress of the ICC

The alternative facing humanity at the beginning of the 21st century is the same as the one which faced it at the beginning of the 20th: the descent into barbarism or the renewal of society through the communist revolution. The revolutionary marxists who insisted on this inescapable dilemma in the turbulent period 1914-23 could hardly have imagined that their political descendants would still be obliged to insist on it again at the start of the new millennium. Indeed, even the 'post-68' generation of revolutionaries, who emerged from the revival of proletarian struggles after the long counter-revolution that set in during the 1920s, did not really expect that a declining capitalism could be quite so adept at living with its own contradictions as it has proved to be since the 1960s.

"Peace and prosperity" or war and poverty?

Eight years after his father, George W Bush has begun his term as president of the USA. His father promised us "peace and prosperity" after the disintegration first of the Eastern bloc, then of the USSR. The son inherits a situation of widespread war and poverty, which has proliferated and deepened throughout the 1990s. The state of the world is truly catastrophic, and this is not merely a temporary transition before the promised land prophesied by Bush Senior. All the signs are that capitalism is dragging humanity down into a vicious circle of bloody military conflicts on every continent, of increasing imperialist antagonisms especially between the great powers, a new and brutal aggravation of economic crisis and poverty, and a series of disasters of every kind. These three elements - war, economic decline, and the destruction of the planet - are making conditions ever more intolerable for today's generations, and are endangering the very survival of the generations to come. It is becoming ever clearer that capitalism is leading the human species to extinction.

Pearl Harbor 1941, Twin Towers 2001: Machiavellianism of the US bourgeoisie

From the very first moments, American bourgeois propaganda has likened the horrific terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on 11 September to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941. This comparison is laden with considerable psychological, historical and political impact, since it was Pearl Harbor that marked American imperialism's direct entry into the Second World War. According to the current ideological campaign presented by the American bourgeoisie, especially its mass media, the parallels are simple, direct, and self-evident:

In New York and the world over: capitalism sows death

We know now that the attack on New York has left more than 6,000 dead. Over and above the mere figure - appalling enough in itself - the destruction of the World Trade Centre marks a turning point in history whose full implications we cannot yet measure. It is the first attack on American territory since Pearl Harbour in 1941. The first bombardment of continental America in history. The first bomb attack on a major industrial country since World War II. It is a real act of war, as the media put it. And like all acts of war, it is an abominable crime visited on a defenceless civilian population. As always, the working class was the main victim of this act of war. The cleaners, secretaries, maintenance and office workers who constituted the vast majority of the dead were our people.

Terrorism: a weapon and a justification for war

On 28th June 1914, the Archduke Franz-Ferdinand of Austria, nephew of the emperor Franz-Joseph and inspector-general of the Austro-Hungarian army, was assassinated in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, a young Serbian nationalist. For Austria, the opportunity was too good to be missed. The Austrians had already laid hands on Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908, their imperialist appetites whetted by the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire. The assassination provided Austria with the perfect pretext to attack Serbia, which it suspected of encouraging the nationalities under Austrian rule in their desires for independence. The declaration of war followed without the slightest negotiation. What ensued is common knowledge: Russia rushed to Serbia’s rescue, fearing to see Austria dominate the Balkans; Germany gave its support to its Austro-Hungarian ally; France in turn supported Russia, while Britain followed; in total, the war that resulted left almost ten million dead, six million mutilated, and Europe in ruins, not to mention the consequences of the war such as the 1918 flu epidemic, which caused more deaths than the war itself.

Editorial: The "anti-terrorist" war sows terror and barbarity

The intensification of the US offensive aimed at maintaining its world leadership has led it to unleash a new war in Afghanistan, and to deploy troops there, on the pretext of a world struggle against terrorism. As we will show in the article that follows, this military escalation and its conclusion today in a crushing American victory, far from bringing any kind of stability to the world is, on the contrary, the precursor of new wars and new massacres. Since the article was written, the situation has worsened in the Middle East, which is the object of this brief introduction.

International situation: notes on the history of US imperialist policy since World War II, part ii

Vietnam War: divergences on imperialist policy shake US bourgeoisie

American involvement in Vietnam began following French imperialism’s defeat in Indochina when the US moved in to pick up the pieces for the West. The strategy, again a manifestation of containment, was designed to prevent what Eisenshower’s Secretary of State Dulles had called the “domino theory” – one country after an another falling to Russian imperialism like dominoes. The aim was to transform the temporary separation of Vietnam into a northern and southern zone created by the Geneva agreements into a permanent division, as in the Korean peninsula. In this sense the American policy of subverting the Geneva agreements began under the Republican Eisenhower regime and continued under Kennedy, who began dispatching military advisers to Vietnam in the early 1960s. The Kennedy administration played an integral role in running the country, even authorising a military coup and the assassination of President Diem in 1963. The impatience of the White House with the general who delayed in assassinating Diem, has been well documented. Following the assassination of Kennedy in 1963, Johnson continued the American intervention in Vietnam, which mushroomed into America’s longest military war.

History of US foreign policy since World War II

The world has come a long way since the collapse of the bipolar division of the world that characterized the 45-year period of the Cold War. The era of peace, prosperity and democracy that the world bourgeoisie promised with the collapse of the Russian bloc in 1989 has of course never materialized. Indeed the decomposition of capitalist society, which was a consequence of the stalemate in class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie after two decades of open economic crisis and triggered the collapse of Stalinism, has relentlessly spiraled deeper and deeper into chaos, violence, death and destruction, as humanity is brought closer and closer to a future of barbarism. At the time of the writing of this article, President George W. Bush has just announced that the United States was ready to invade Iraq, with or without international support, even in the face of a failure to get a Security Council sanction for its military action. The breach between Washington and the capitals of major European countries, and even China, on the question of this imminent war is palpable. It is particularly appropriate at this conjuncture to examine the roots of American imperialist policy since the end of World War II, so as to better understand the current situation.

Resolution on the International Situation

Resolution on the international situation

The international situation in the year 2000 confirms the tendency, already analysed by the ICC at the beginning of the last decade, for a gap to open up between a growing open crisis of the decadent capitalist economy, and an abrupt acceleration of imperialist antagonisms on the one hand and a retreat in class struggle and class consciousness on the other.

Behind the Iran-US crisis, the ideological campaigns

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