5th IMCWP, Contribution of Communist Party USA

6/19/03 11:59 AM
  • USA, Communist Party USA 5th IMCWP En North America Communist and workers' parties

Athens Meeting 19-20 June 2003, Contribution by CP USA
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From: SolidNet
http://www.cpusa.org , mailto:cpusa@cpusa.org ,
mailto:cpusainternat@mindspring.com
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by John Bachtell

THE WAY TO STOP BUSH POLICIES

We are sincerely thankful to the Communist Party of Greece
for once again hosting this vital meeting of fraternal
Parties and for the opportunity to share thoughts and learn
from our collective experience so that we may heighten our
unity in action.

This is a most crucial moment for humanity. The new Bush
Doctrine of unending war has made the world an incredibly
dangerous place. At this moment US imperialism faces no
comparable political counterweight as it did during the
Soviet years.

The world avoided a catastrophic nuclear confrontation as a
result of the US initiated arms race in the last century.
The Soviet Union, other socialist nations, the non-aligned
and national liberation movements in alliance with the
peace majorities in the capitalist countries prevented
nuclear annihilation. Only a bigger global peace movement
will prevent new wars, including the outbreak of nuclear
war.

In our view, the Bush Doctrine flows from the political
dominance of government by the extreme right wing sections
of US monopoly capital (finance capital, the oil, energy
and military transnationals) and their ideologues,
including religious fundamentalists of all sorts.

The Bush Doctrine has been germinating for over two
decades. But it wasn't until the theft of the White House
in 2000 and the September 11 tragedy that it became policy
of the most right wing sections of the US ruling class.

US imperialism has always sought world domination. But the
Bush Doctrine aims for unchallenged domination for the
entire 21st century. After the Soviet Union collapsed the
most reactionary sections resolved to never again allow the
emergence of a competitive rival or alliance of rivals.

The Bush Doctrine is a radical new set of policies marked
by overwhelming military superiority, preemptive attack,
regime change, first use of nuclear weapons as offensive
weapons, the militarization of space, military occupation,
direct colonial rule and elimination of national
sovereignty.

The Bush administration is determined to develop new
weapons including "mini-nukes", "bunker busters" and pursue
the missile defense shield. This will lead to proliferation
of weapons of mass destruction and a new spiral in the
global arms race including by countries that feel they must
arm to protect themselves.

By rejecting international agreements like the ABM, Kyoto
treaties and the International Criminal Court, the Bush
Doctrine opens a new era of international relations whereby
unilateralism reigns supreme - international law and
institutions, including the UN, are being by-passed and
sabotaged. Inter-imperialist rivalries are being sharpened.

The immediate strategic goal of the extreme right in the US
is remaking the entire Middle East. They envision an arc of
domination from Northern Africa to South Asia, particularly
over the world's oil reserves to be reinforced by a
sprawling system of new military bases. Already the extreme
right is eager to use the threat of invasion again,
including in Iran, Cuba and the Korean Peninsula, even as
US forces sink into the quagmire of occupation in Iraq and
Afghanistan.

We don't believe this policy is an inevitable outcome of
this stage of capitalist globalization or the balance of
power on a world scale. It is a policy of choice connected
with the political ascension of the extreme right wing.

We are not prepared to characterize the Bush administration
as fascist. It does not yet fit the classic Marxist
definition as the open terroristic dictatorship by the most
reactionary sections of monopoly in which bourgeois
democratic institutions are eliminated, and the working
class and people's movement is smashed by brutal force and
repression. Conditions exist for the legal functioning of
all types of organizations and movements including our
Party, and for action in the electoral and legislative
arena. It is true that basic democratic rights have been
eroded, but not eliminated.

However, it's true there are fascist-like forces in the
Bush administration and in its orbit. It is urgent to stop
this development, to block these forces from gaining
strength, to struggle against them at every step before the
atmosphere takes root that could lead to fascism. That is
why we view the 2004 elections and preserving a democratic
atmosphere in the country through mass struggle as vital.

The global peace movement is unprecedented and forced the
Bush administration to delay its invasion plans and take
its case to the United Nations. The US peace movement,
which exploded almost overnight, is multi-sided and marked
by incredible breadth. It intersects and overlaps with many
other movements and struggles. It includes every sector of
the population, a broad spectrum of ideological trends,
large parts of labor, racially oppressed communities,
women, religious communities, youth, military veterans,
immigrants, many families of victims of September 11 and
the anti-globalization movement.

Thousands of grassroots peace committees organized by
ordinary Americans sprang up in neighborhoods, small towns
and universities expressing opposition in countless
creative ways. Thousands of actions, vigils, teach-ins and
newspaper advertisements were organized. The largest
demonstrations were held since the Vietnam War. 500,000
marched in New York after the war started. Students at over
500 universities conducted a Day of Action for "Books not
Bombs."

Over 150 anti-war resolutions were passed by city councils.
Resolutions were passed by thousands of local unions and
community organizations. Local and national actions were
organized on the Internet, including the "Virtual March on
Washington DC" in which 750,000 participated. Elected
officials were flooded with millions of calls, emails and
letters.

In an unprecedented development, large sections of the US
labor movement officially opposed the war. In contrast, it
took years to build labor opposition to the Vietnam War.
Many labor for peace organizations were formed. For example
in Chicago, labor leaders formed "Labor United for Peace,
Justice and Prosperity". They concluded that mass education
of their members was essential to counter false propaganda,
and that the fight for the peace, economic security and
democratic rights was interrelated.

The majority of the religious community was also deeply
involved, including every denomination except the
politically right wing fundamentalists. Even Bush's church
opposed the war policy.

Millions are connecting the mammoth military budget with
cuts of social programs and the Bush Doctrine abroad with
the war against the working class at home. There is
widespread alarm over the attacks on basic democratic
rights, of speech and assembly and rights of immigrants.

The scale, scope and rapid development of the peace
movement was astounding considering the near total
corporate mass media support for war. They flooded the
airwaves with lies, whipped up nationalism and organized
pro-war rallies. Anti-war opposition was branded as
unpatriotic. Many well-known personalities were hounded
into silence

Despite these efforts, over 30% of the public remained
staunchly opposed to preemption during the war. Today, 67%
opposes preemption and a majority supports the UN as the
mediator of crises. A political firestorm is growing over
revelations Bush lied to justify the invasion and that
immigrants detained after September 11 have been harshly
treated.

The peace and democratic forces are active in every arena
of struggle: legislative, political and electoral. The
objective now is to end the occupation, bring the troops
home, and to prevent further preemptive attacks.

Many currents in the peace movement are fighting for a just
solution to the Middle East crisis. The fight will be over
details of the Road Map. But the road cannot be traveled
far without total Israeli withdrawal from the occupied
territories including the settlements, an end to punitive
repression against the Palestinian population and an
international peace keeping force.

On June 6-8, United for Peace and Justice, the national
network that mobilized millions for the February 15th
protests, held its first national conference. Over 500
grassroots peace activists representing over 650
organizations attended and adopted long range plans.

All the major social forces that oppose the Bush
Administration are now shifting their focus to the 2004
elections. The elections will be the main way to stop and
reverse the Bush policies. They will be an epic battle
involving millions. Most peace and justice organizations
will unite with other social movements to elect a
Democratic Party candidate for president and a majority
Democratic congress. Plans are unfolding for a massive
campaign of voter education and mobilization at the
grassroots.

US politics are still deeply characterized by fear stemming
from the September 11 terrorist attacks. The extreme right
has skillfully manipulated the fear of terrorism. This
atmosphere allowed Bush to rush through the new strategic
doctrine unquestioned and to conceal the real aims of the
war policy with outright lies.

The danger of terrorism is the centerpiece of Bush's
campaign for reelection. The war on terrorism has replaced
the use of cold war anti-communism to justify policies of
military build up and curtailment of civil liberties.
Terrorism and communism are equated.

The US Patriot Act has given sweeping new repressive powers
to the government. This has resulted in regular terror
alerts, greater political repression and the detention,
mistreatment and deportation of thousands of immigrants,
particularly people's of Arab and South Asian descent,
Muslims and Sikhs. Militarization of the border with Mexico
has accelerated. There is a growing fight to repeal the
Patriot Act.

The Bush doctrine of unending war also has its domestic
expression to take back every gain won by the working
class and people over the past century. It entails a
massive shift in wealth to the rich and a new concentration
of monopoly power, including greater concentration of the
corporate mass media.

The extreme right wing is conspiring to bankrupt government
through massive tax cuts to the rich. This will be a
justification needed to privatize basic social programs
like social security, health care and public education. It
is the US version of neo-liberal policy. This has resulted
in a sharpening of the class struggle.

The US economy continues to deteriorate. States and cities
face the worst budget crisis in 50 years and are deeply
cutting social programs. Since the stock market bubble
burst in 1999 and Bush became President, over 2.5 million
jobs have been lost. 41 million people are without health
care and hundreds of thousands of workers have lost
retirement benefits. Hunger and homelessness are mounting.
The danger of deflation and stagnation is growing.

Though we are relatively small, our Party plays a unique
and vital role in this movement. Communists have been
involved at every level of the peace movement. We are among
the leaders of national and citywide coalitions,
neighborhood grassroots organizations, and in trade unions,
religious institutions, universities, and traditional peace
groups.

I believe we make the following special contributions:
Taking initiatives that build unity and bring our
multi-racial, male-female working class, especially
organized labor and nationally and racially oppressed
communities to the leadership in coalitions. We seek to
build coalitions around the broadest points of unity,
especially between the left and center political currents;
Making links between the struggle for peace with the
movements against the economic crisis and for democratic
rights.
Conducting mass ideological struggle to expose the Bush
lies and that give the big picture behind the Bush
Doctrine. We seek to connect the crises to the capitalist
system and help people to understand the necessity of
socialism.

US politics is marked by the long-term emergence of an
all-people's front against the extreme right. It includes
organized labor, racially oppressed communities, women,
peace and justice movements, immigrants, youth,
environmentalists, the religious community and farmers.
This front includes sections of the ruling class disturbed
by the direction of Bush administration.

The all-people's front, a concept our Party first projected
for the US context, has grown in response to 20 years of
struggle against the extreme right. Its development has
been uneven. It took a qualitative leap in the mid 1990s
with leadership changes in the US labor movement committed
to building broad alliances. The process of building this
front was interrupted by the developments of September 11th
and the Iraq war. But these forces are now regrouping.

Confronting US imperialism militarily is not a winning
strategy. Its willingness to use weapons of mass
destruction and overwhelming military superiority means the
political mobilization of a global peace majority is the
only way to end this policy and to insist that the US
military forces close the bases and return home.

Greater unity of action of all communist, working class and
democratic forces in a global front for peace, democracy
and economic security is essential. The anti-globalization
and economic justice movements are converging with the
global peace movement. It is a global counterweight to US
imperialism.

This front includes mass movements, entire nations,
including socialist and many non-aligned and developing
nations. At the moment and on some issues, the interests of
the world peace majority coincide with the interests of
imperialist states who oppose the US drive for domination.

We believe a global campaign is needed to reestablish the
leading role of the UN based on its founding charter to
resolve urgent global problems of abolishment of weapons of
mass destruction, environmental destruction, disease,
poverty and hunger. We urge support for the petition of Non
Governmental Organizations calling for an emergency meeting
of UN General Session to mandate actions including
deployment of a UN peacekeeping force in Iraq and immediate
withdrawal of the invading powers.

This is the great struggle of our time. The world peace and
democratic majority will defeat the Bush Doctrine and win a
new system of peaceful international relations and an
equitable and sustainable system of economic relations and
save humanity's future.