US troops out of Middle East, Afghanistan now!

January 14, 2019

The following statement was issued Jan. 2 by Alyson Kennedy, Socialist Workers Party candidate for Dallas mayor.

The Socialist Workers Party demands the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of U.S. troops, bombers and warships from the Middle East and Afghanistan!

The Donald Trump administration’s proposed drawdown of U.S. troops from Syria and reduction of U.S. forces in Afghanistan are only a small fraction of the vast weaponry and troop deployments the U.S. rulers keep in the Middle East and elsewhere worldwide. They’re ready to unleash this whenever it seems necessary to protect their interests against capitalist rivals and above all against working people.

The unrelenting and deadly toll on the working class of the wars waged by Washington and its capitalist rivals in Syria and Afghanistan highlights the pressing need for workers here to act in solidarity with fellow toilers.

The U.S. rulers’ wars abroad are an extension of their attacks on workers here at home. They seek to defend their profits and their rule on the backs of working people worldwide.

As cutthroat competition among rival capitalist powers pushes the rulers into sharper conflicts, they step up their efforts to drive down workers’ wages, inflict life-threatening speedup on the job and push to extend the working day.

The wars they wage are not our wars. Their foreign policy serves their class interests, not ours. They demand we provide the cannon fodder in their wars for markets, resources and political influence around the world.

The rulers’ callous disregard for the lives of working people is reflected in their neglect of returning veterans. Tens of thousands come home with long-term injuries, forced to wait years, and sometimes a lifetime, for their disability claims to be heard. Opioid addiction and the suicide rate among veterans have soared.

The Socialist Workers Party has an unbroken record of intransigent opposition to Washington’s imperialist wars. From Vietnam to Korea, the first and second imperialist world wars, U.S. deployments against Grenada, the Dominican Republic, Bosnia and elsewhere, none of these were in the interests of working people — there or here.

The U.S. rulers’ armed forces have been fighting in Afghanistan and the Middle East for decades. Millions of toilers have been killed, maimed or driven from their homes.

The SWP explains that Washington’s intervention and the war moves of its capitalist rivals in the Middle East hinders the interests of working people there. Across the region workers and their allies need the political space and time to build a working-class leadership to challenge for political power after decades of betrayals by Stalinist parties and the exhaustion of bourgeois nationalist forces.

In the course of struggles in years ahead workers can gain “enough political combat under a proletarian leadership to develop confidence in their own and their class’s ability to organize and manage the economy and ‘guide the ship of state,’” SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes explains in Capitalism’s Long Hot Winter Has Begun, published in New International no. 12.

That is the way forward taken by workers and farmers in Cuba where, under the leadership of Fidel Castro and the July 26 Movement, they organized the people to overthrow the U.S.-backed Batista dictatorship in 1959 and took political power into their own hands. That is an example for us to emulate here.