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   Vol. 71/No. 5           February 5, 2007  
Troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan now!
As the U.S. government begins a major escalation of its nearly four-year war in Iraq and pursues other military assaults in the region, working people and youth should demand: Bring all the troops home now from Iraq and Afghanistan! U.S. hands off Iran! Not one penny, not one person for Washington’s wars!

The U.S.-led war in Iraq is not the result of a policy of Bush and his party. It will not be reversed by the Democratic-led Congress or a future Democratic president. It is the result of an economic and political necessity for imperialism—as it was in the two world wars, Korea, Vietnam, and other imperialist wars.

Imperialism is the worldwide economic system based on rule by the billionaire class that owns major industry, banking, and land—from the United States to France to Japan—and appropriates the wealth produced by the majority: workers and farmers. All state institutions, from Congress to the armed forces, enforce the interests of that class at the expense of working people. The U.S. capitalists rule through their twin parties.

That is seen graphically in the charade in Congress, where Democratic “opposition” to the Republican White House over Iraq is simply tactical differences on how best to defend their common imperialist interests in the Mideast. Democrats push empty “nonbinding” resolutions criticizing the escalation but make it clear they will not pull the U.S. troops out of Iraq. Both parties agree on stepping up the Afghanistan war and threats against Iran. This is part of the rulers’ worldwide military drive—their “long war” on “terrorism.”

The capitalist class has no alternative to this course. Profit rates have been declining since the 1970s by the very workings of the system. The bosses must reverse that trend by the only means they have: cutting wages, rolling back social benefits, and brutally intensifying the pace of work, while going to war and competing with their rivals for markets, resources, and territory.

In the capitalists’ war abroad and at home, working people are not helpless victims, as shown by the recent actions of meat packers at the giant Smithfield slaughterhouse in Tar Heel, North Carolina. To protest the firing of workers over their immigration status, 1,000 meat packers walked off the job November 16-17. Then hundreds took the day off January 15 to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, defying boss threats. These actions helped unite immigrant, Black, and other workers and strengthened their ongoing struggle to unionize.

This fight shows the potential power of working people and points to the only way to end imperialist wars. That is, to join these and other struggles along the road of building a movement of working people that can lead a revolution: to overturn the warmaking class, establish a workers and farmers government, and join with toiling humanity in the fight for a socialist world.
Related articles:
Imperialist war in Iraq escalates
More U.S. troops sent to Baghdad
Bipartisan support for war strong

Young Socialists: ‘Socialist revolution is only way to end imperialist wars’
U.S. soldier fights court-martial for refusing to deploy to Iraq  
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