The following statement was written by FIST and distributed at Spring Rising, an anti-war demonstration in Washington DC in March 2015.
Shut Down the Empire!
Since its founding, the United States has been in a constant state of war, targeting indigenous nations, neighboring countries, or independent states thousands of miles away in a fight for one thing: profit, the life-blood of the system of capitalism.
Today, the US military maintains a presence in more than 150 countries with around 1,000 bases dotting every corner of the earth. The total US spending on war is over $1 trillion per year. Meanwhile, the endless attack on oppressed people and workers within the United States has intensified. Militarized racist police forces occupy poor Black and Brown neighborhoods, while Wall St. capitalists plan the wholesale destruction of public education and services.
The world will never be free from wars and exploitation while capitalism exists. The only way to peace in the long run is to destroy capitalism and build socialism, a society where people’s needs, rather than profit, are the fundamental basis of the social order.
Yet in the meantime, we need a path towards revolution. The anti-war movement has a crucial role to play in this, but not at its current level. We ask: can we forge a movement that really connects the endless war drive to these crises within the US? How can we defeat this racist, neoliberal capitalism at home and abroad?
The Pentagon: Wall St.’s Killing Machine
The United States is at war in Syria against two main targets. The US is bombing Syria primarily to overthrow the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. More publicly, the US claims to be fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Yet their ultimate goal is not to stop ISIS. In fact, they need groups like ISIS to justify endless war.The goal of the US military brass and ruling class is regime change in Syria.
US imperialism caused the conditions which led to the creation of ISIS. The US war on Iraq started in 1990 and continues to some degree today. This is the greatest crime so far of the 21st century, leading to the death of over 3.3 million Iraqis since 1990, including 1.7 million women and children. All of this loss of life was for one reason: oil and profit.
Libya, formerly one of the most prosperous African countries, has been dragged backwards as well by the US and NATO’s aggressive bombing campaign starting March 19, 2011. This unnecessary aggression has caused the death of over 50,000 Libyans and a drastic decline in the living standard of the Libyan people, while US and European oil companies have gained control of the country’s oil resources and banks.
Yet oppression breeds resistance. Air strikes, sanctions, and ongoing occupation have created massive resistance in each country, just like in past wars in Vietnam, Korea, and virtually everywhere else under the gun of US imperialism. The people of Iraq, Syria, and Libya have proven that they will never accept neocolonial domination.
This is certainly true of the people of Palestine, where for generations millions of people have resisted the genocidal colonial settler regime of Israel. For us, ending US wars in the Middle East must also mean that the US ends its $3 billion in military aid to Israel.
Meanwhile in Ukraine, the US has supported a pro-fascist coup government as part of its attempt to weaken the strength of capitalist Russia. The reason for this proxy war? Profits for energy companies and banks, while furthering US domination of Europe and Russia.
Venezuela has been a major target of recent CIA campaigns to overthrow democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro, a former bus driver turned leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. The campaign against the pro-socialist Bolivarian revolution is another chapter in Wall St.’s ugly history of violence against Latin America.
Again and again, no matter what the specific goals are — oil, regional control, land, resources — the role of the US military, CIA and contractors boils down to one thing: profit for US banks and corporations and the capitalist 1%.
Black and Brown Lives Matter – At home and Abroad
Now more than ever, we need an anti-war movement with a clear message, “No War on Black and Brown people, from Ferguson to Iraq!” The US military and its servants have never liberated anyone. Similarly, police violence in our own communities, based historically on repressing slaves and workers, serves only to maintain the oppression of people of color and poor people.
We want the people of Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine and everywhere else to have genuine democracy and self-determination, without the interference of the US. We want the people of Ferguson, Detroit, Oakland, as well as indigenous nations and immigrants, all to have control over their communities and their lives, free from the profit motives of Wall St.
When we examine the US military industrial complex and police, we see that it is the very same state oppresses people both here and abroad. This government locks up over 2 million people in prisons and jails, which serve effectively as internment camps for the poorest people, victims of a race and class based war. This same US military industrial complex is the largest polluter in the entire world, threatening the existence of humanity.
Yet in Ferguson, in New York, in Wisconsin, and in cities across the US, the strongest movement against this racist empire have developed in the belly of the beast. The call, “Black Lives Matter,” is in staunch opposition to the racist history of the US, whose foundation and world dominance are based on the theft and persecution of Black lives and Black labor.
At this time, the forces opposing US imperialism’s drive for world conquest are weakest inside the US. While the people of Iraq, Syria, Ukraine and Libya suffer, our movement against war has dwindled. Yet the conditions for resistance continue, and have become increasingly more desperate.
Its time for an awakened, more unified anti-war movement to rise to the occasion, to reach out to workers, people of color, youth, LGBTQ people and every sector of society with clear ideas for moving the struggle forward. It is time for more action, more organizing, and more educating on the role of US military and police in defending the profits of the billionaires. Our path towards overthrowing capitalism and building a socialist world depends on our ability to connect and build a massive anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist movement in the belly of the beast.
Lets get to work! End All US wars Now!