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[Elections] [ULK Issue 4]
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Obama's world tour - international news roundup

Barack Obama's July international tour gives as much insight into what is not important to Amerika as it tells us about what is important. Looking at where Obama's tour stopped, we can see some big continents skipped: He did not visit Asia, Africa or Latin America. These regions represent the vast majority of oppressed and exploited people in the world. That's not to say Obama only focused on imperialist countries, but his visits to Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan and Palestine underscore the relative importance of the Middle East to imperialism right now.

The missing Third World

It is pretty clear that Amerikans are not very interested in Third World countries as long as super profits flow back home and there is no perception of significant threat. The Amerikan government has done a great job of building up fear around the Middle East and its potential danger to Amerikan people. This served to justify several recent battles in the ongoing World War three against the Third World, and maintains our focus on this region.

Asia is currently in the news only for the Olympics and stories about pollution in Beijing. It is interesting that many have taken the opportunity of the Olympics to attack China and its foreign and domestic policies. We at MIM(Prisons) are not fans of the capitalist government in China, but we find their policies no more objectionable than those of the many other imperialist countries that have hosted the Olympics. And as we've discussed in a previous article on Tibet (White Nationalism still reaching out to Tibet), the attacks on China around this topic are regurgitation of white-washed imperialist history. Historical example predicts that the white nationalists condemning China will not rally for an independent New Afrika in response to Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics. Yet, New Afrikans were enslaved by amerika, whereas Tibetans freed themselves from slavery in joining the socialist project of the People's Republic of China in the 1950s. The current mayor of Chicago has overseen numerous slayings of Black residents and many years of torture chambers run in the city's jails, targeting New Afrikans in particular. Mayor Daley's father oversaw the murder and imprisonment of Black Panthers, Vice Lords, Black P. Stone Rangers and other organizations organizing for Black self-determination as mayor of the city in the late 1960s. China would be hard-pressed to outdo the city of Chicago alone in its genocidal national oppression.

Even his African heritage is not sufficient reason for Obama to talk about that continent, much less visit there. In general Amerika is pretty happy to ignore Africa and it is among the regions of the world that the Amerikan public knows the least about. In Zimbabwe there is significant turmoil over Presidential election results and subsequent economic collapse. Imperialist hegemony relies on relative stability of oppressed nations and so there is a lot of interest in this country right now. The U.$. has gotten involved to the extent of calling for sanctions on the Mugabe government but this country is not impacting the Amerikan economy enough to merit further action. In reality this is a good thing as attention from Amerika generally means imperialist intervention (overt or covert) and is generally devastating for a country. But the flip side of that is that countries already devastated by imperialism are ignored because of the poor conditions and lack of threat to imperialism. The U.$. is setting the stage for potential actions against the Mugabe government in the future if that seems useful to imperialism, and this is something anti-imperialists must remain vigilant about fighting.

Iraq and Afghanistan

All eyes are on Iraq as Amerikans continue to fight a war that was started under false pretenses but continues as Amerika fights for a strong foothold in the Middle East. Obama continues to advocate a pull out of troops within 16 months if he is elected President. But as we reported in a previous article on the elections: Just because he wants to pull troops out of Iraq doesn't mean Obama is anti-militarist. Obama is clear that he will use the Amerikan military to defend the Amerikan economy. From his web site: "The excellence of our military is unmatched. But as a result of a misguided war in Iraq, our forces are under pressure as never before. Obama will make the investments we need so that the finest military in the world is best-prepared to meet 21st-century threats." And he wants to expand the imperialist military: "We have learned from Iraq that our military needs more men and women in uniform to reduce the strain on our active force. Obama will increase the size of ground forces, adding 65,000 soldiers to the Army and 27,000 Marines."

Further, Obama has called for u$ troop redeployment to Afghanistan and into Pakistan. Essentially Obama will free up the resources to move from one invasion to another. Meanwhile, one of Obama's high-profile foreign policy advisors is Zbigniew Brzezinski, who's book detailing plans for continued amerikan hegemony foreshadows the current occupation of Afghanistan to secure access to the Caspian Sea. Brzezinski was a strong backer of the Shah in Iran, and later supported military occupation of the country to maintain stability after the Shah's fall. The amerikan imperialists will disagree on where to invade and who to befriend, but they never disagree on whether to be imperialists or to promote amerikan domination over the rest of the world.

There is really little difference between Obama's position and that of the current administration. Bush is now saying clearly that the "terrorists" in Iraq are on the brink of defeat and the Iraqi government and security forces are getting stronger, which would allow “further reductions in our combat forces, as conditions permit.” (NYT, Aug 1, 2008) Bush is likely looking for vindication of his policies and a "victory" before the end of his presidency, but the government also recognizes the decreasing popularity of this war with the Amerikan people. Earlier in July, Bush announced a plan to send more troops to Afghanistan: "We're going to increase troops by 2009." (Yahoo News, July 2, 2008)

Iran

This brings us to Iran - not a stop in Obama's world tour but a topic he discussed several times in public speeches around the world. "A nuclear Iran would be a game-changing situation, not just in the Middle East, but around the world," said Obama. "A nuclear Iran would pose a grave threat, and the world must prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." "It would endanger Israel and the rest of the region, and it could embolden terrorists and spark a dangerous arm race in the Middle East."

Obama is putting forward consistent imperialist rhetoric which sets the stage for an invasion or any other attacks against Iran the imperialists deem necessary. This is partly due to the position of the close Amerikan buddy, Israel, a country that considers Iranian nuclear power to be a direct threat. It is ok for Israel, a viciously aggressive country with a bloody history of repression against Palestinians, to have nuclear weapons, but their enemies must not be allowed to develop such tools. Some have speculated that Israel may attack Iran, and if that happens Amerika wants to be positioned to support their ally.

Israel

During his stop in Israel Obama told Israeli President Shimon Peres: "I'm here on this trip to reaffirm the special relationship between Israel and the United States and my abiding commitment to Israel's security and my hope that I can serve as an effective partner, whether as a U.S. senator or as president." Obama has always been consistent in his strong support for this imperialist ally. Joining him on his tour of the region was Dennis Ross, a former Middle East envoy who is a consultant for The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think-tank promoting the Israeli lobby under the guise of academia.

Oil

Very related to Middle East policy, with so much attention to gas prices in Amerika, John McCain has seized on this issue as the path to the presidency and is vocally promoting offshore drilling. Of course invading oil-rich countries is one way to gain control of significant stores of oil and bring down gas prices, but since that seems to be costing more Amerikan lives and money than the Amerikan people are willing to tolerate, environmental destruction to get at more oil is a reasonable backup strategy for the imperialists.

A poll from the Public Policy Institute of California reported that by the end of July Californian's had shifted their opinions, with a slim majority now supporting offshore drilling. California would be one of the main sites where costal waters would be opened to drilling by the McCain proposal. Historically public opinion has shifted with the price of gas - as prices go up, support for drilling goes up. This is typical Amerikan me-firstism, which leaves room for environmental protection, national self-determination, and other policies that are good for the majority of the world's people only if it doesn't impact their pocketbooks.

McCain's new support for offshore drilling has certainly gained him some donations from the oil industry. But a 2007 study from the Department of Energy suggested that new offshore leases will not lead to production of oil until 2020 and would not impact prices until 2030.( http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/otheranalysis/ongr.html) McCain has claimed offshore drilling could provide economic relief within months, which contradicts these studies by his own government. There is no doubt that oil drilling is bad for the environment. But the Amerikan government is uninterested in adopting far sighted policies that might protect against environmental destruction by developing energy sources. Until the Amerikan public really feels the impact of environmental destruction (in their pocketbooks or in their health) it is unlikely the government will be motivated to act.

As MIM wrote back in 1996: "The root cause of environmental problems is capitalism, the private ownership of the means of production by a relative handful of people. This essence of capitalism is one reason why capitalism creates environmental problems: while the majority of the world's people have a material interest in maintaining a healthy planet, the small capitalist ruling class is not accountable to this majority, except in the indirect sense that the ruling class seeks to co-opt the demands of the majority in order to maintain the capitalist system. A second reason why capitalism creates environmental problems is that although the world's resources are controlled by a relative handful of people, planning is not centralized under capitalism. Instead, production is anarchic; it is centered around making profits, not around meeting basic human needs in the short or long runs. Much of what is produced by the capitalist system is unnecessary and wasteful, and the system is not fundamentally capable of incorporating long-term human survival as a need. Finally, the capitalist system does not distribute resources equitably. Under capitalism, many people do not have adequate resources for survival. Many environmental problems stem from this root problem….. The capitalist system of production for profit creates a number of environmental problems which are often understood and discussed in isolation from their root causes. Key among these is pollution of air, water and land. Pollution, like all else under capitalism, is unequally distributed. On a world scale, waste from the imperialist countries is dumped in the neocolonies." (MIM Theory 12: http://www.etext.org/Politics/MIM/mt/mt12capenv.html)

European stops

Obama was received like a rock star in Berlin and was generally very popular among European leaders in his tour of that region. This just provides further evidence that Obama is a good imperialist, who works well with his imperialist allies. Being loved by other imperialist country populations may be considered good credentials by some voting Amerikans, but for anti-imperialists it is just further proof of an enemy of the people.

We have already lamented the readiness of many youth and oppressed people to join the Obama bandwagon because of his identity. Some closer to MIM(Prisons) are still suggesting that Obama represents progress for our movement and that everything reported in this article is just for show to get elected. This analysis acknowledges one important reality, while ignoring another. It recognizes that amerikans would not vote for someone who is working in the interests of the oppressed, and therefore such a persyn would have to put on a show to get elected. The mistake these people make is putting identity above a of mountain facts. We have seen serious revolutionaries degenerate into bourgeois politics, so don't think dark skin and a little time in the projects in Chicago means someone is a friend. The bourgeois theory of history upholds the idea that individuals make history, the proletarian theory looks to social forces on the group level to explain history and predict future developments. The president of the united $tates is only one persyn. Obama comes with a whole package of people, and they're all the standard imperialists, voted in by the same old amerikan oppressor nation.

More interesting than the theory that Obama is a progressive in imperialist clothing is the proposal that he could be the nail in the coffin of the Black Nation as an oppressed internal semi-colony. We would expect the bourgeois internationalists to have to pull the rest of white amerika into full integration, but we'd also expect this to require a healthy push from the oppressed themselves.

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[Elections] [National Oppression] [ULK Issue 4]
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Barack Obama and oppressed nation labor aristocracy

Now that Barack Obama has secured the democratic nomination for President of the United States, it's important that we educate our oppressed nation youth that he is being controlled by the same forces that control George Bush, which is multinational corporations, political lobbying groups and international patriarchal capital.

It is apparent that Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States, considering the country's excitement about him and the nation's unwillingness to separate John McCain from George Bush.

This is the biggest turning point in U.S. history, because Barack Obama has the potential of transforming the oppressed nation in this country into a labor aristocracy at the expense of the Third World. This will strengthen the U.S. imperialist system and weaken the revolution in a sense because as more and more Blacks and Latinos gain oppressor nation benefits, these oppressed nations will be less willing to fight for the international proletariat. This will ultimately transform immigrants into the number one revolutionary group in this country and the group most willing to fight for the international proletariat.

Even though Blacks and Latinos represent the majority of those imprisoned in jail and prison today, I truly believe that the criminal injustice system as well as the police will drastically increase their campaign to lock up more immigrants, and eventually immigrants will become the majority of those imprisoned in border states.

As a matter of fact, we're seeing this trend unfold as we speak. Immigrants are the fastest growing segment of the state and federal prison system. [Most statistics on imprisonment do not break out migrants from "Hispanics" in general, making this difficult to verify. There has been a significant surge in construction of federal detention facilities along the border following increasingly draconian immigration laws and policies in recent years. Meanwhile, the general prison population has continued to rise, but some state systems have begun to cut back. We welcome further input and research on this subject.] U.S. prisoners are currently the second largest revolutionary group in this country. We are a very important, and some including myself would argue this is the biggest turning point in U.S. history and world history, and we must put a proper perspective on this crucial time in history. It is apparent that we are headed towards 8 years of Barack Obama as U.S. President and I have a feeling that the next 8 years (2008-2016) will be the most important time in U.S. and world history, even more so than the 1960s.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We're not certain that Obama will be the next president but we think this prisoner offers some useful commentary about oppressed nations within U.$. borders joining the labor aristocracy. MIM has been saying for years that the oppressed nations are a part of the labor aristocracy, so we do not agree it would take Obama as president to cause this transformation. The reality of life in Amerika is that all citizens benefit from the economy of this imperialist country and this includes the internal oppressed nations. So the class interests of oppressed internal nations already lie with imperialism (see MIM Theory 1 and MIM Theory 10 for more detailed economic and political analysis of classes within U.$. borders).

We see internal oppressed nations as potentially revolutionary because of their national interests. But we agree with this prisoner's general point that the U.$. government could push forward the national conditions of internal oppressed nations to elevate their national interests to align them with imperialism. U.$. history has many examples of oppressed nations joining the oppressor nation, but those groups were whites from various other countries, like the Irish (see Settlers: the Mythology of the White Proletariat, by Sakai).

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[Elections] [Texas]
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Barack Obama the movement: a race issue

When I read the words of Huey P. Newton it motivates me. When I read the words of George Jackson it motivates me. When I read the works of Lenin and Mao Zedong it also motivates me. Most definitely when I read the words of Asstat Shakur and know to this day she still stands strong in the face of imperialism it motivates me. It also tells me I am not wrong in my analysis of Amerika and what I see on a daily basis. These previous freedom fighters for the people went thru the same things we did plus much more. So it shouldn't be too hard to differentiate between those who move for the people from those who move for imperialism.

No matter how you slice it or how much he moves you, Barack Obama is not for the people, he's another in a long line of bourgeois blacks trying to gain fame in this oppressive system by showing Amerikkka non-whites can lead imperialism too. Let's look at this in concrete terms. Reality. What has Obama said or for that matter done to show he will change or overthrow this system and uplift the masses? You don't overthrow imperialism simply by defeating another imperialist rival in an election. Although the ruling class would have you believe this as they continue in their attempt to assassinate the character of Obama thru his association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

But has Obama or any other candidate discussed the growing prison population in Amerika which leads the entire world and what we are going to do to stop its expansion? He talks about education but is he going to legislate law to change the curriculum that indoctrinates students on what to think and believe into how to think and create. Obama doesn't plan on nationalizing health care as it should be but instead offers a package similar to the other candidates but with a few more benefits.

Barack Obama states his intentions are to withdraw the troops from Iraq as soon as possible upon entering office. Now what about withdrawing the troops in Afghanistan, Asia, Europe and from around parts of Africa. Oh, I forgot, stop funding Zionism in Israel. Try to see what you can do about halting Amerikan military aggression against weaker nations. will Obama do any of these things? Hell, no! See Obama tries to play this game of what we call playing both ends to the middle. By knowing what the oppressed nationalities and Amerika as a whole needs he offers the best reform package while at the same time catering to Amerikan interest in global domination. That's bourgeois politics.

That's exactly why we who call ourselves progressives, revolutionaries, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist or socialist stick to political line. And smash all reactionary politics and thought. If we really support the uplifting of the people. As we move forward in this contest of personalities to decide the democratic representative of the party and ultimately the presidency it has become ever so clear that race and popularity is still used as a huge role in who we decide are our leaders. But don't be moved from hearing the words change, be moved by politics in demand. The attack on Obama's well mannered personality to make the masses believe that he may be too compromising with foreign leaders or not be bloodthirsty enough to declare war on some small country. Neither candidate democrat or republican could handle a phone call at 3 in the morning if they didn't have Amerika's military might to back up their war monger mentality. Knowing some Blacks will support Obama by blind nationalism the media still uses the divide and conquer strategy.

This is the time we show our distinction and development in building public awareness to reveal this nation's structured racism. While at the same time putting forth the political line of the imbalance in the voting system showing the people how their vote really doesn't count. This process as it stands now is a method to determine the mind state of affairs through out the nation. As if putting a Black man in the race for the White House means freedom will ring. Freedom will only ring when we overthrow capitalism and its many tentacles of oppression. I would go so far as to state that if Malcolm X would have become president of these united snakes, it still would not make a difference. And I would call Malcolm a sell out.

Barack Obama is right when he says it is fear mongering that the media is spreading from his associations with Rev. Wright. But Obama it is also your fear to not publicly denounce imperialism. When, after denouncing Farrakhan and statements made by Rev. Wright, the media and talk show mouth pieces play reverse psychology by placing you in the same group that publicly lynches Black leaders. This is done to break up and destroy your base of support among Blacks and the youth. It's spun in the media that those who supported your speech in Philadelphia on March 18 also support Rev. Wright, so says right wing parrots as Laura Ingram. What these critics fail to mention is the disenchantment that the masses have with Amerika's politics, the reason for Obama's popularity. Not to mention that Bill and Hillary do have a lot of enemies and they're not all on the "right." But the good ole boy mentality in Bill "Clyde" Clinton and his "bonnie" Hillary refuse to lay it down, even going so far as using the race card in S. Carolina then turn around and brown nose to the Black bourgeoisie by attending the premier Black church in Atlanta.

For a moment the right was at a cross road between their dislike of Hillary and the realization that a Black man may actually become a democratic presidential candidate. So they killed two birds with many votes by Republican voters actually crossing the line and voting for Hillary to win over Barack in Ohio and Texas. To ensure McCain doesn't go up against the Obama movement too soon or not at all so he can have an easy road to the white house and continued war on Iraq.

Sources:
Amarillo Globe News, March 9 and 10, 2008
Newsweek, March 10 and 17, 2008

MIM(Prisons) responds: For the MIM(Prisons) analysis of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, check out our article:
Election roundup - Democratic party expands the game beyond white men, but remains imperialist in the end

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[Elections] [ULK Issue 3]
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Election roundup - Democratic party expands the game beyond white men, but remains imperialist in the end

At the mid-point in the presidential primary race, with just over half of the delegates awarded, the Republicans have a clear nominee in John McCain, while the democrats are evenly split over Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The battle for leadership of the most powerful imperialist country in the world is a three person race, and the election campaign in 2008 is a series of firsts in Amerikan politics. This is the first election where a woman has a serious chance of winning the nomination of a major party for president. It is also the first election where a Black man has this same chance. In addition, it is a rare race in that no incumbent president or vice president is on the ticket. Meanwhile, support for President Bush is at record lows, so low in fact that Republican candidates are barely mentioning his name in their campaign, much less being seen with him.

While this election provides for many interesting twists and turns in imperialist politics, it is still an imperialist election. There is no chance that an anti-imperialist will win the presidency, and so MIM(Prisons) still stands firm in the MIM political line "Don't Vote, Organize":

MIM's elections slogan can best be summed up as "Don't Vote, Organize." Oppressed people everywhere and the revolutionaries who work in their interest are not distracted by the billion-dollar smoke-and-mirrors campaigns of imperialism.

The majority of white Amerikans support or participate in the electoral system. The system overall represents their interests, though it favors the rich among them. Still, their choices are limited and they are constantly grumbling and protesting by not voting.

If some candidate throws Amerikans a bone—a tough crime bill with lots of new prisons, some protectionism against foreigners, a war or two—then they may get temporarily excited and go pull some levers. But their elections are not what changes the direction of the country. They rubberstamp the decisions made by international patriarchal capital, and they get paid to do it.

Revolutionaries act on the belief that people are bigger than individual votes, and that improvements within the Amerikan system are made at the cost of increased exploitation of the oppressed. Every day wasted on these elections means millions more death sentences for the oppressed. (reprinted from www.etext.org/Politics/MIM/elections)

Clearly this 2008 election represents an expansion of a historically white male political field to include both wimmin and Blacks. MIM(Prisons) has heard an alarming number of people who consider themselves anti-imperialists pulling for Barak Obama as Democratic nominee for President of the United States. Particularly, oppressed nation youth are getting excited about the first Black president. At the same time, many people consider it a "feminist" position to support Hillary Clinton for president because she would be the first biological womyn candidate. For this reason, we are going to address the specifics of the positions of these two candidates in this article.

Before jumping in to the details MIM(Prisons) reminds our readers of Condoleezza Rice. As U.$. Secretary of State under George Bush (and formerly National Security Advisor), Rice is arguably the most powerful womyn and Black person in Amerika. Clearly neither her identity as a female or as a Black persyn has led her to initiate any progressive (much less anti-imperialist) policies. Identity politics lead to the reactionaries winning as they put the right face on the wrong political line. This lesson is also clear for us to learn from half a century of history in the neo-colonial Third World, where both native and female faces have continued to carry out the economic policies of the imperialists.

White wimmin actually enjoy gender privilege relative to Third World men and wimmin (see MIM Theory 2/3), and so the introduction of a white biological female into the Amerikan presidential race was just a matter of time. The addition of a Black man (and a man of direct Kenyan descent at that) as a serious candidate is more of a surprise in a country where national oppression is quite alive and well, and where imperialist power rests on the oppression of Third World peoples. Even worse than the many imperialist puppets of oppressed nationalities in Third World countries, Obama is as Amerikkkan as Abu Ghraib. He is vying to become leader of the oppressors, not just a middle man strong-arming the oppressed. It is not nation that is decisive in the case of these individuals, because they have committed national suicide to partake in the exploitation of their nation of origin.

If Obama wins it could signify a shift in Amerikan politics where internal oppressed nations gain more oppressor nation benefits. These nations already enjoy enough of the economic benefits of imperialism to put all Amerikan citizens among the ranks of the labor aristocracy, benefiting materially from and having a direct financial interest in perpetuating imperialism. But the disparities between oppressed nations and the white nation demonstrate that national oppression is still alive and well within Amerika's borders. It is important to recognize that this situation could change and some or all of Amerika's internal colonies could join the ranks of the oppressor nation without fundamentally altering the nature of Amerikan imperialism globally. However, at this point there is no indication that national oppression in Amerika is going away, and Obama's weak rhetoric aside, it is unlikely the presidency of a Black man will alter this situation.

Regardless of the relative representation of wimmin and Blacks in the administration, if either a womyn or a Black man wins the Amerikan presidency, it will not lead to any significant shift in Amerikan imperialist politics. The leader of imperialist Amerika is still just that, the leader of imperialist Amerika. Neither candidate has come out against imperialism, and no candidate who takes that stand can win in an imperialist election.

Hillary Clinton

For Hillary Clinton we have to start with the question of gender because many men and wimmin in Amerika are citing Clinton's gender as a reason to vote for her, claiming that this is a feminist stand. It is interesting that the first serious (aka imperialist) female presidential candidate is the wife of a former president. The strength of political power within families in Amerika looks an awful lot like oligarchies in other countries, but yet Amerika calls it democracy. The Bush legacy of father and sons is certainly not the story of some genetically superior line of men who make great political leaders - they have money and power and connections that got them all into political office. The same is true for Bill and Hillary Clinton and all of the previous family legacies of political power in Amerika. Having someone in the family in office helps the next person get into a position of power. And Bill Clinton's name and legacy has helped further Hillary's career.

Already, many people who are of voting age have only seen 2 families in the White House in their lifetime. With Hillary Clinton as president, this will be true for a significant block of young people. That Amerikans are willing to overlook this is a testimony to the complacency of the labor aristocracy who really don't care about democracy as long as they have candidates representing their economic interests.

It is not hard to demonstrate Clinton's imperialist credentials. Anyone voting for Clinton because she is a womyn, is really just playing imperialist identity politics without regard for actual political positions. Or more likely, is fine with Clinton's political positions as they represent imperialist Amerika - a country that most Amerikan citizens are decidedly in favor of perpetuating. Rather than restate the facts, here we print from the MIM website, an excerpt from an article from September 2007 (Why George Bush prefers Hillary Clinton, http://www.etext.org/Politics/MIM/elections/elections091207.html):

First it was the conservative intellectual publication "National Review" that said it wanted Hillary Clinton as the most conservative of the Democrats. Then Cheney made an overture to Clinton by saying he wanted to leave the office in the condition he found it. Next Karl Rove helped Hillary Clinton consolidate a lead in the polls by attacking her alone.

These events are all linked together. It has nothing to do with who the Republicans feel they can beat or which Democrat they want if the situation for Republicans is hopeless in 2008.

Backing Hillary Clinton shores up the Bush regime, plain and simple. The reason for this is that Hillary Clinton shares Bush's positions, especially on those questions most often raised for potential impeachment proceedings.

• On the Iraq War, Clinton voted for it. Obama, Kucinich, Gravel and others would not share that with Bush.
• On the weapons of mass destruction justification for the Iraq War, it was Rumsfeld who sold biological weapons to Saddam Hussein under President Reagan, but it was Bill Clinton who turned the question into a lying basis for armed strikes on Iraq and subversion of the weapons inspection process. Only Clinton and Bill Richardson would have to defend the stands of the Clinton administration.
• On the attorney firings question, Hillary Clinton has already stated publicly that she agrees with Bush on the right of the president to fire the attorneys, and she did not specify how many times.

Further on the question of freedoms in Amerika we have this from MIM (September 2, 2007:
http://www.etext.org/Politics/MIM/elections/../pirao/security/security090207.html):

Hillary Clinton is for the evisceration of the Bill of Rights. She separates questions of credit and medical information from other information concerning "terrorists," which she is so sure are "terrorists" that they have no fourth amendment rights:

"So much of what we know about terrorists, and the successes we have had in preventing and thwarting attacks and tracking would-be perpetrators, has been through information technology. We track terrorists across continents through their cell phones. We monitor terrorists and their supporters through Internet chat rooms. We had phone intercepts that should have given us advance notice of 9-11 if we had been paying attention.

"Now although our Founders couldn't imagine data mining or terror cells, they did anticipate differences of opinion between the executive and legislative branches, and even within them."

It's completely idiotic, because of course the British considered the American Revolutionaries terrorists. So she soft-pedals the question of security versus liberty the way the founders did not. She follows up this bit of her speech with how executive power needs a bipartisan basis. It's not what Washington or Lincoln said: those were oppressor Americans. Hillary Clinton is an Amerikan, because for her even what the founders said was too much.

Barak Obama

In many ways Barak Obama presents a much more interesting candidate for president than Hillary Clinton. Clinton may be biologically a female, but the gender privilege she enjoys makes this irrelevant, and her existence as part of a family of presidential power, and as a part of the white nation, as well as the entirety of her political history, make her a clearly mainstream candidate for president. Obama, on the other hand, is the son of a Kenyan man and a white Amerikan womyn. He grew up on the fringes of the Black power movement (according to his own account in his book Dreams of my Father), and spent years organizing among the projects in Chicago. Obama is not a typical Amerikan presidential candidate.

Obama is the candidate that many people considering themselves progressive and even anti-imperialist are supporting. He can say that he has stood against the Iraq war from the start, unlike other candidates. On issues like prisons Obama has some progressive sounding positions. For instance, on his web site we find: "Obama believes the disparity between sentencing crack and powder-based cocaine is wrong and should be completely eliminated." Despite the ridiculous claim by some that Bill Clinton was the "first Black president," he brought us the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, huge increases in police and a continuation of the prison boom throughout the nineties. If the united $tates still imprisons more Black men than apartheid South Africa at the end of an Obama presidency, the smashed hopes of oppressed youth politicized by the idea of a Black president should strengthen the anti-imperialist camp.

Barak Obama is fundamentally an Amerikan imperialist candidate. He may be willing to shift around the spoils of imperialism a bit if he becomes president, but he will not tolerate a threat to Amerika as the premier power of the world. Obama's web site features a quote on his views about the Amerikan economy: “I believe that America's free market has been the engine of America's great progress. It's created a prosperity that is the envy of the world. It's led to a standard of living unmatched in history. And it has provided great rewards to the innovators and risk-takers who have made America a beacon for science, and technology, and discovery…We are all in this together. From CEOs to shareholders, from financiers to factory workers, we all have a stake in each other's success because the more Americans prosper, the more America prospers.” So Obama recognizes the common economic interests of Amerikan citizens, and clearly takes up the imperialist position of defending these interests.

Just because he wants to pull troops out of Iraq doesn't mean Obama is anti-militarist. Obama is clear that he will use the Amerikan military to defend the Amerikan economy. Again from his web site: "The excellence of our military is unmatched. But as a result of a misguided war in Iraq, our forces are under pressure as never before. Obama will make the investments we need so that the finest military in the world is best-prepared to meet 21st-century threats." And he wants to expand the imperialist military: "We have learned from Iraq that our military needs more men and women in uniform to reduce the strain on our active force. Obama will increase the size of ground forces, adding 65,000 soldiers to the Army and 27,000 Marines."

While warning against expansion of the occupation of Iraq to an invasion of Iran, Obama has called for u$ troop redeployment to Afghanistan and into Pakistan. Meanwhile, one of Obama's high-profile foreign policy advisors is Zbigniew Brzezinski, who's book detailing plans for continued amerikan hegemony foreshadows the current occupation of Afghanistan to secure access to the Caspian Sea. Brzezinski was a strong backer of the Shah in Iran, and later supported military occupation of the country to maintain stability after the Shah's fall. The amerikan imperialists will disagree on where to invade and who to befriend, but they never disagree on whether to be imperialists or to promote amerikan domination over the rest of the world.

Obama also stands firm on supporting Amerika's imperialist allies such as Israel (from Obama's web site): "Barack Obama has consistently supported foreign assistance to Israel. He defends and supports the annual foreign aid package that involves both military and economic assistance to Israel and has advocated increased foreign aid budgets to ensure that these funding priorities are met. He has called for continuing U.S. cooperation with Israel in the development of missile defense systems."

And finally Obama will defend Amerika's borders to keep the spoils of imperialism for the Amerikan citizens first and foremost (from Obama's web site): "Obama wants to preserve the integrity of our borders. He supports additional personnel, infrastructure and technology on the border and at our ports of entry." As long as Amerika exploits the people of the Third World and brings those profits home to benefit Amerikan citizens, Amerika will need to protect its borders to keep the exploited masses from seeking out a better life and better financial opportunities. Obama will keep those people away from the benefits of profits taken from their labor and the resources in their countries. This is part of Obama's defense of Amerikan workers. The labor aristocracy might get a pay raise from Obama, but that's nothing more than a different way of splitting up the imperialist pie.

Lenin on Elections (from State and Revolution):

"To decide once every few years which member of the ruling class is to repress and crush the people in parliament — such is the real essence of bourgeois parlimentarism, not only in parliamentary-constitutional monarchies, but also in the most democratic republics." (chapter 3, sec 3)

Who are "the People" according to Lenin

"People think they have taken quite an extraordinarily bold step forward when they have rid themselves of belief in hereditary monarchy and swear by the democratic republic. In reality, however, the state is nothing but a machine for the oppression of one class by another, and indeed in the democratic republic no less than in the monarchy." (chapter 4, sec 5)


Don't vote, Organize!


Reprinted from [url=http://www.etext.org/Politics/MIM/elections

We]www.etext.org/Politics/MIM/elections

We say to everyone who agrees with us that there is something very wrong with this system: don't vote, organize!

All our lives Amerika teaches us that we live in a democracy. Part of this so-called democracy includes everyone having the right to vote so that we can decide who will have the power to make decisions about local, state, Federal, and international issues. We have been taught that this is the greatest and most democratic country on earth.

Some of us learn that this democracy does not work for kids growing up in the projects where basic education is not a right that everyone has. And in neighborhoods where people are shot at by the cops for being Black or Latino, democracy starts looking like it is only for some people. We also need only look at the criminal injustice system and see the disproportionate conviction of Blacks and Latinos to know that this so-called democracy is not for everyone.

When we look around the world at all the countries that Amerika invades, or countries in which Amerika installs puppet dictators, murdering or overthrowing popularly elected leaders, this democracy doesn't work. And when we look at countries where Amerikan corporations use the cheap labor of the starving people and steal the natural resources because puppet dictators have enacted laws saying this is OK, we know that's not democracy for the oppressed.

People in these countries did not vote for Amerikan imperialism to invade their country. They did not vote for Amerikan imperialism to install a puppet dictator. They did not vote to allow the CIA in to kill off the revolutionaries and keep the dictators in line. And they certainly did not vote to starve to death, to die from preventable diseases, to die in labor because the medical facilities are only open to people who can pay, or to die fighting a war against the imperialists over whether wealthy Amerikans get to exploit their country or whether they themselves can take control. When we see all of this we know that democracy is only for the few.

We live under an imperialist government. This government receives donations from multinational corporations as well as political lobbying groups that have lots of money. The corporations, the CIA, and the military industrial complex are all very powerful parts of the government that don't answer to anyone and they force the "elected" officials to answer to them. As long as these institutions of imperialism exist, an individual elected to president, senator, representative or governor is not going to make a difference.

In fact, as long as we live under this imperialist system the only people who can even run for office are the people who already have the support of these wealthy, powerful organizations. It takes a lot of money to run an electoral campaign. So even if you had wonderful ideas and a brilliant plan that you thought all of the people of this country would support, it would not matter because you couldn't get elected unless you were independently wealthy (like Ross Perot), and if you were independently wealthy it came at the expense of the international proletariat and you probably have no interest in the oppressed (like Ross Perot).

PROGRESSIVE PEOPLE VOTING?

Many progressives organize around elections because they believe that this is the way to make change. These people genuinely want change, both inside and outside of this country. But they are convinced that there is no alternative for action and they believe that democracy works.

Living in this country it is tempting to believe in voting. It is easy to ignore the plight of the rest of the world and just focus on problems at "home." And if you really think narrowly and you are a part of the very large white middle class, you might vote for the president/senator/representative who does not want to cut Medicare so that when you retire you will be better off than if the other guy wins.

The fact is that there are differences between candidates, but these differences are very minor and generally come down to tactical tweaks in domestic policy issues that benefit one section of the middle class or the other. For all the people who believed that Clinton would be better for gays, this should be obvious. For all the people who thought that Clinton would be better for the poor, the imprisoned, the victims of police brutality, a quick look at the increase in numbers of cops and prisons under Clinton should also make it clear that the Democrats are not really different from the Republicans.

WHAT ABOUT LOCAL ELECTIONS?

A lot of people who agree with us that voting for a president, representative or senator does not mean anything, still organize around state level elections. They believe that by working on a more local scale, they will be able to exert slow steady pressure for change. A recent conversation with a woman who is very active in local electoral work makes this clear. She kept pointing out the great work done by a woman in the state senate. When it was pointed out that this state Senator has never taken a stand on imperialism and the gross things that Amerika does around the world the woman responded that "of course she hasn't because that would cause her to lose her legitimacy". But we don't even have to look so far away at international policy, we can see that these same officials don't take progressive stands on prisons and instead vote to build more prisons and put more cops on the streets to put more Blacks and Latinos in prison.

It is possible that in elections to city hall, some small battles can be won locally that won't mislead people into believing that electoralism works within the non-democracy of Amerika. For instance, if there were several candidates running for city hall who supported putting up public bulletin boards all over town and making public space available for revolutionaries to hold educational events, it might be worth supporting them. But we should never confuse these potentially winnable battles with support for candidates who operate at the state or continental level and who support imperialism both in words and in practice.

WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES?

Many people believe that the advances made in the past century for women, national minorities, and others in our society were the result of the electoral power of these groups. But in fact, most of the progressive reforms won in this country in the past century were the result of organizing and agitation outside of the electoral arena. Just think back to the Black civil rights movement and remember the role the Black Panther Party played, outside of the ballot box, in forcing the government to make concessions out of fear of this armed revolutionary organization.

Unfortunately there is no tidy little alternative to the bourgeoisie's vote. The vote is so appealing because it only takes a few minutes in a ballot box once a year (or once every 4 years). But real change does not come easy. MIM and RAIL are working to educate people about the effects of imperialism and to organize people for the only way in which progressive change is possible: revolutionary struggle. This means that we fight winnable battles against things like prison repression, police brutality and other reactionary policies. But at the same time we organize for a larger movement against imperialism.

Even before winning the revolution there is a lot that this movement can achieve. MIM(Prisons) is struggling against censorship across the country on a daily basis. Every battle we win is getting educational materials to those who need them most to build a strong revolutionary movement. Even as the battles continue to pile up, our work on this front creates the breathing room for us to build as a movement on other fronts. This is just one example of the ongoing struggles we can take up and win right now that are vital for actually creating the possibilities for real change in the future.

Don't vote for the imperialists! Organize against the imperialists!

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