Statement by Willie Cotton, Socialist Workers Party candidate for New York City public advocate, March 3.
Working people and our unions should demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. troops, warships and bombers from the Middle East. The Socialist Workers Party campaign condemns the Feb. 25 airstrikes Washington unleashed in Syria that killed at least 17 people.
At home and abroad, the U.S. rulers, like every other capitalist government, uphold the interests of the ruling capitalist families. From their military interventions to their trade conflicts and the punishing sanctions they inflict, everything they do abroad is an extension of their drive to defend their profits at home. They attack our jobs, wages and working conditions here. And it’s our class they use as cannon fodder in their wars and military operations.
The working class needs our own program on every question, including our own foreign policy.
The starting point is the fact that workers and farmers around the world share the same class interests. Solidarity with the struggles of working people everywhere has to be our watchword, from the protests and strikes by the toilers in Myanmar to those in Iran and Iraq.
All the imperialist and capitalist governments intervening in the Mideast are an obstacle to working-class solidarity and organization there. The SWP demands not only Washington, but all outside capitalist powers — both Washington’s allies and rivals, from London to Moscow, Tehran and Ankara — withdraw their forces now.
The only force capable of resolving the crisis confronting workers and farmers in Iraq, Syria, Iran and elsewhere in the region is working people. Only they can win their own emancipation.
Working people in the U.S. can help by acting to force the U.S. rulers to get their bloody hands off Iran now and end their punishing sanctions that hit workers and farmers hardest.
Successive U.S. administrations have used Washington’s vast military might to brutally enforce their will. Both the Democratic and Republican parties are the parties of imperialist war. Workers need to build a party of our own, a labor party, that will say: Not one penny, not one person for the capitalist rulers’ wars!
The way to stop imperialist wars once and for all is to lead the working class — the one great progressive class today — to overturn the rule of the capitalist warmakers here in the belly of the beast and replace it with a workers and farmers government. Such a government would join battles by fellow working people around the world to end capitalist rule — the source of all exploitation, oppression and war.