A.N.S.W.E.R.'s response to
Bush’s State of the Union address
Empire - the true aim of the U.S. government - is barely concealed under the lofty rhetoric of Bush's State of the Union address. In its pursuit, the U.S. government is committed to the destruction of every government and people that stands in its way, in the Middle East and throughout the world.
"Freedom and democracy" for Iraq and "liberty" around the world are new code words for a very particular global strategy. According to this strategy, the Pentagon's military pre-eminence will be used to invade, bomb, subvert and threaten any and all countries in the formerly colonized and semi-colonized world that seek to maintain control over their own resources and retain even nominal independence and sovereignty. Bush and the neo-conservatives are the political spokespersons for this strategy. Congress and the courts fade into an ornamental status as Pentagon-enforced capitalism asserts itself as the real power in contemporary U.S. politics.
Bush and the Iraq "elections"
The Bush State of the Union Address comes days after the "elections" in Iraq. The timing of the two events was carefully scripted by the White House. Both were organized in Washington D.C. After killing more than 100,000 Iraqis and destroying the Iraqi social and political structure (not to mention the previous Iraqi state apparatus), the Bush administration tonight demagogically postures as the great liberator. This is the pose assumed by all aggressors in modern history on the "home front."
The Iraq elections were manipulated by foreign occupation. Political parties outlawed by the occupiers could not participate. Foreign troops held the country in lock-down. Large areas of Iraq never participated. But even for those who did vote, participation was not a signal of support for the occupation of their country or an expression of love for Bush. The great majority of people in Iraq, who have suffered greatly, want to re-gain control over their country.
The anti-war and progressive movement must look reality in the face as it prepares for the coming struggle.
The real objectives of the U.S. war in Iraq
The Bush administration hoped to quickly invade Iraq and set up a puppet regime. The goal was to destroy the previous government, further secure its geo-strategic interests in the region, and weaken Iraq to a point that any new government would be on its knees before Wall Street and the IMF. This was the overarching goal of thirteen years of economic sanctions from 1990-2003.
This was also the Clinton administration's objective when it forced the removal of the UN weapons inspectors in 1998 and began the daily bombing of Iraq that continued right up to the full-scale "shock and awe" invasion.
Also of primary interest to the U.S. is the economic re-colonization of Iraq. The U.S. government hopes to turn the situation back to the one that existed decades before the 1972 nationalization of Iraq's vast oil resources.
On top of this, the Bush administration added additional goals to the pre-existing imperialist agenda. The most important of the new goals was the creation of 14 large permanent Pentagon bases in Iraq that could be used as a forward staging ground for new aggressions against nations of this oil-rich region.
The goal of the Bush administration was not to occupy Iraq with hundreds of thousands of troops forever. But the vast armed resistance in Iraq has made the withdrawal of the occupation forces impossible. The resistance, as a widespread urban guerrilla force, can only exist with widespread popular support. It has tied up and prevented the Pentagon juggernaut from moving on in full force against Iran, Syria, Lebanon, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and elsewhere, but it is clear from tonight’s speech that Syria, Iran and others are Bush's next targets.
The Bush administration hopes that the January 30 "election" can confer semi-legitimacy to a new puppet Iraqi government. But the staged "election" will not mean a new dawn for peace - on the contrary. The U.S. government is threatening that if they can stabilize a puppet regime in Iraq, it will open new wars of aggression in an attempt to secure U.S. imperialist global geo-strategic interests.
The U.S. plan for Palestine
Palestine and the Palestinian leadership and people were not officially included with Iraq, Iran and North Korea in Bush's "axis of evil" list during the State of the Union Address three years ago. But the full-scale assault against the Palestinian people has proceeded relentlessly.
Israel's murderous terror campaign against the Palestinian people and their political and grassroots leadership is an organic extension of the war waged against the Arab and Middle Eastern peoples by the U.S. empire. Years of exile, assassinations, colonization, mass imprisonment, the construction of the hideous Apartheid Wall, the forced imposition of mass unemployment and malnutrition are now followed by Bush celebrating the election of new "leaders." Such is the embrace of "democracy and freedom!"
Washington is attempting once again to undermine, divide and destroy the Palestinian national movement. Bush and his advisors are trying to get the Palestinian National Authority to accept a Bantustan-style quasi-mini-state - broken up pieces of non-sovereign territory under the direct control of the Israeli army. They want the Palestinian leadership to sign away the inalienable right of return of the Palestinian people who were driven from their homeland, despite the fact that this right is fundamental under international law. The Bush team is seeking the confinement of the Palestinian people in a Bantustan entirely dependent on the United States.
Empire and "democracy"
Bush claims that the U.S. is not seeking to form an empire. Rather, he claims, "it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture." A look at Haiti exposes this sham propaganda. In twenty-six days the people of Haiti will angrily commemorate the first anniversary of the Bush/Pentagon coup and kidnapping of the democratically elected President of that country. Jean-Bertrand Aristide was the first democratically elected president of Haiti. The Bush administration smashed that government and installed a U.S. puppet regime.
The Bush administration's support for the failed coup and later recall election against the democratically elected government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, along with the ongoing U.S. campaign to overthrow the Cuban government, further expose Bush’s lies about "freedom and democracy."
In the name of making the world safe for the spread of democracy, Bush has invaded and set up puppet governments in Afghanistan, Iraq and Haiti. He is attempting to deal a dangerous blow to the legitimate national aspirations of the people of Palestine. The U.S. intends to use all available tools to overthrow the government of Syria and reincorporate Lebanon into the U.S. economic sphere of influence. The U.S. is working to draw Libya, with or without the current government, into its sphere of influence. It is attempting to re-draw the economic and social map of the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa.
War and diplomacy
War, whether overt as in Iraq now or covert as in Iran, should not be considered as separate from diplomacy. Those who plead that the Bush administration should pursue a diplomatic approach, as opposed to naked military aggression, are making a phony distinction. War, threats of war, economic sanctions and diplomacy are merely tactics and methods, means in pursuit of certain ends. For the Bush administration, the end is creating a far-flung U.S. empire. All the U.S. corporations, the banks and both political parties have 100 percent agreement about the desire of attaining this goal. Whatever differences over tactics, policy and timing they might have are secondary. This is what accounts for the widespread acquiescence among the Democratic "opposition" to even the most adventuristic tactics on the part of Bush, Cheney and their neo-conservative crew.
Defend social security and social programs
The people of the United States must stand against the empire. Defying empire is not only an act of solidarity with those around the world who are demanding the right to determine their own destiny free from U.S. domination. Working people across the United States are also the victims of the empire. Our sons and daughters are sent to kill and be killed. Billions of dollars are being transferred from education, health care, housing and job training in order to finance one imperialist war after another.
Bush announced tonight that there will be a freeze or near freeze for all spending with the exception of military programs. This will mean an additional severe cut in programs that working and poor people depend upon. But he has proposed $80 billion in new money to fund the war on Iraq. This is on top of the $150 billion already spent on the Iraq war (nearly $270 million each day), and over and above last year's $420 billion Pentagon budget.
Every new region of the country that is "globalized" into the U.S. economic sphere of influence becomes a new playground for U.S. corporations in endless pursuit of creating new areas for starvation-wage jobs. Whole industries, not just jobs, are being outsourced. It is clear from tonight's speech that Bush and Wall Street want to privatize Social Security as a devious scheme to steal the deferred wages of more than 100 million workers. The empire benefits the banks and corporations, not the people.
The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition calls on everyone to intensify the organizing that we have all been doing together in the last few years. Millions have demonstrated together, coordinating with people in countries all over the world. This is an epic battle between the people on one side and the plutocrats who own and run the country on the other. Politicians have proved to be incapable of stopping war and empire.
The hope lies with the people. Every step forward in the 1930s or the 1960s and 1970s came from the creation of a mass peoples' movement.
Support March 19 demonstrations
Please click here to endorse and organize for the upcoming March 19 Global Day of Action. The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition has been working for months to build and support local actions in cities around the country. In every country, people will be in the streets on March 19 to mark the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq with protest.
Below is a partial listing of the cities where demonstrations are happening on March 19:
Ann Arbor, MI
Fort Bragg-Fayetteville, NC
Fort Smith, NH
Los Angeles, CA
New Brunswick, NJ (Rutgers Univ.)
New Paltz, NY
New York, NY
Salt Lake City, UT
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
Saratoga Springs, NY
Seoul, South Korea
St. Paul, MN
Victoria British Colombia, Canada
Please fill out the Event Form to advise us if there is an activity on March 19 in your area so we can list it on our web site and in upcoming national emails.
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