BARACK OBAMA'S WAR PLAN
Barack Obama ... the political vehicle for a significant shift in the focus of US military aggression from Iraq to Afghanistan and Central Asia...
...who won by tapping into popular antiwar sentiment
He is the leading spokesman for an escalation of the war in Afghanistan and its possible extension into Pakistan...
...while the broad antiwar sentiment of the population is ignored
The race of two candidates...whose discernible foreign policy differences reflect tactical disputes over US imperialist policy, centering on where American military violence should be focused.
Obama’s antiwar posturing...a calculated effort to conflate and subordinate principled opposition to the war to those sections of the political and military establishment whose opposition to Bush’s war policy had nothing in common with opposition to US militarism or the neo-colonial designs of American imperialism.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, who considered the invasion of Iraq a strategic blunder...
...a fixation on Iraq, they argued, diverted military and financial resources from more important tasks, including consolidating US power in oil-rich Central Asia.
Obama, made clear in his recent trip to Iraq that he
- supported the US stooge regime and
- as president would maintain an indefinite presence of tens of thousands of US troops in Iraq
- to secure American interests in that country (Oil, bases, Israel)
The Democratic Party and its candidates have subverted and undermined antiwar opposition.
- 2002 congressional elections...kept the issue of the drive to war against Iraq out of the election campaign while it promoted Bush’s lies about weapons of mass destruction and supplied the necessary votes in Congress to authorize the invasion.
- In 2004...Howard Dean’s campaign...initially utilized to channel growing antiwar sentiment...was derailed and shut down by the party leadership and the media. John Kerry ran in the primaries as a critic of the war, sidelined the issue once he had secured the nomination...presented himself as a Vietnam War hero who would wage the war in Iraq more effectively than Bush.
- 2006...Democrats again did their best to keep the contest from becoming a referendum on the war...mass turnout of antiwar voters defeated dozens of incumbent Republican congressmen and senators and put the Democratic Party in control of both houses of Congress for the first time since 1994.
Democratic Congress then proceeded to vote for every war appropriation requested by Bush
Democrats also voted to confirm every top military official nominated by Bush
Democrats succeeded in confusing, demoralizing and dissipating any significant organized expression of antiwar sentiment
the liberal establishment is now set to promote the “right war” in Afghanistan
“Events have conspired to make the strategy
- —set a timetable for shutting down Iraq
- focus attention and resources on the main event in Afghanistan—
NYT Frank Rich chastised McCain for being a year behind Obama in “recognizing Afghanistan as the central front in the war against Al Qaeda.”
Democratic Party exploited the political vulnerabilities of a population subjected to
- decades of right-wing propaganda,
- media disinformation and
- the absence of any genuine opposition to political reaction within either of the two parties.
it was rendered indispensable assistance by the milieu of middle-class protest groups, ex-radicals and left liberals who single-mindedly worked to channel the antiwar movement behind the Democratic Party, insisting that no struggle against the war was permissible or legitimate outside the orbit of the two-party system.
United for Peace and Justice and the Nation magazine
- opposed any struggle that sought to mobilize mass antiwar sentiment independently of the capitalist parties and link it to a socialist program to unite the working class against attacks on social conditions and democratic rights.
- they undermined the very movement they purported to lead.
Now Katrina Vanden Heuvel writes,
- “it is troubling that as he shows sound thinking on Iraq, while Obama also continues to talk about escalating the US military presence in Afghanistan.”
- She pleads with the Democratic candidate to “think long and hard” about “extricating the US from one disastrous war and heading into another.”
Commending Obama’s policy in Iraq as “sound” constitutes support for an ongoing US military presence and the permanent reduction of the country to the status of a US protectorate.
Such appeals serve to encourage illusions that he can be shifted by pressure from below to adopt a less militaristic course, and that the Democratic Party or a section of it can serve as a vehicle for peace.
these elements are incapable of making a class analysis of the Democratic Party, one of the oldest capitalist parties in the world.
The Democratic Party has long been the burial ground of movements of popular protest and opposition, from the Populist movement of the 1890s, to the industrial union movement of the 1930s, to the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be ended, and future wars prevented, only through a decisive and irreparable break with the Democratic Party and the independent mobilization of the American and international working class in a struggle against war and the capitalist system that is its root cause.