From “It’s All About the Children” to Endless War for Empire… in Four Days

The Democrats Make the Case for Hillary Clinton as Commander-in-Chief—But Where Will the Bernie People Go?

July 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Give the Democratic Party its due. In four days they took you on a seamless—if bumpy—ride from “Feel the Bern...” and “It’s all about the children...” and “the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party”... to frothing-at-the-mouth “USA! USA!” A declaration of endless war to maintain the American empire, to enforce this world of grinding exploitation and oppression of billions—and especially exploitation and oppression of the children of the world. They gave you a pageant to present Hillary Clinton as the best commander-in-chief for that empire.

On Wednesday—Day 3—you had the hyper-patriotic pro-war ranting of former CIA Director Leon Panetta. During his speech, Democratic Party officials literally shut off the lights to black out “No more war” protests by some Bernie Sanders supporters in sections of the hall.

Marine General Yells for Blood

It's All About the Chidlren meme

Revolution--Nothing lESS In the fall of 2012, Bob Avakian gave a series of talks in different cities. This is a film of one of those talks.

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Criminal choices of a criminal system
America was NEVER great. We need to overthrow this system!

Then, leading right up to Hillary Clinton’s speech, you had a remarkable appearance by recently retired Marine General John Allen. He declared: “With [Hillary Clinton] as our commander-in-chief, America will continue to lead in this volatile world... Our armed forces will be stronger. They will have the finest weapons and equipment. They will have the support of the American people, and the American military will continue to be THE shining example of America at our very best.”

Allen is a former commander of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. He played a key role in wars that have been defined by torture chambers like Abu Ghraib, terror in the form of “night raids” and random murder of innocent civilians, rape of women, bombs and drone strikes that keep millions of people living in a state of constant fear. These are wars for empire, “justified” by lies about “your safety,” about “bringing democracy.”

Important Protests Against the War Mongering

It is very important that here, too, as with Panetta the night before, people on the floor chanted against this militaristic madness, only to be continually drowned out with the NAZI-style “USA, USA” chants and whited out by most of the media. These “USA” chants, by the way, used to be virtually copyrighted by open reactionaries but, in a big sign of the times, now fit right in with the 2016 version of the Democratic Party.

In fact, this whole evening led Van Jones, the self-styled representative of the “left wing” of the Democratic Party on CNN, to happily proclaim that the Democrats were “owning patriotism, owning veterans and owning faith”—as if that was something good and positive! Jones also tried to console the still-angry former Bernie Sanders followers with worthless reassurances that since Hillary Clinton’s speech “included” the demands of movements like Occupy and Black Lives Matter, that showed progress. In fact, contrary to Jones’s bullshit, her speech did NOT do this—but even if it had, so the fuck what? Lip service is bullshit when the day before her speech all charges were dropped in the case of the murder by Baltimore police of Freddie Gray—just the latest in a long line of cases of NO JUSTICE.

But back to this ranting former general. The fact that Hillary Clinton picked him to give the speech setting up her acceptance speech speaks volumes about not just campaign tactics, but what she is preparing the “base” of the Democratic Party for. Allen is on the bloody leading edge of ratcheting up the hellish cycle of war and terror between Western imperialism and fundamentalist Islamic Jihad. In March of last year, Allen testified before Congress that “There’s no exit strategy for this” war—and he didn’t mean that as a bad thing. One Democratic Party congressman recently said of Allen: “Once we get entrenched in the manner that the General is describing, we will literally never get out.”

Making the Case as a Rational—That Is, Cold-Blooded—Imperialist

All this literally set the stage for Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech. In the most important part of her speech, Clinton insisted that she is the best-equipped candidate to be commander-in-chief of the army of an empire facing crises around the world.

Speaking of a military that has murdered millions—some 200,000 innocent civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II... some three million in Indochina... over a million in Iraq—Hillary Clinton declared, “Our military is a national treasure.”

Clinton belittled Trump as someone who “is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.” Stop for a moment and ask yourself this: Why would anyone who had any concern for the future of humanity want to argue they were the BEST equipped to have their finger on the U.S. nuclear arsenal that could wipe out human life??—to hold the world hostage to that kind of destruction? And what does it mean if you start thinking about the world in terms of who should have the power to do that?

Clinton insisted she would be a stronger commander-in-chief than Trump: “America’s strength doesn’t come from lashing out. Strength relies on smarts, judgment, cool resolve, and the precise and strategic application of power. That’s the kind of commander-in-chief I pledge to be.” For those familiar with The Godfather movies, this is merely an argument that she should be cast as the cool murderer Michael and not the violent but ultimately foolish hothead Sonny.

Hillary Clinton can back that up with her record as a world-class war criminal within the Bill Clinton administrations and as secretary of state for Obama. She is as rabid a cheerleader for Israel’s genocidal attacks on the Palestinians as there is in the U.S. ruling class. The “allies” she brags about lining up are a gallery of the most oppressive regimes on the planet.

She played a singular role in pushing for the U.S./NATO bombing of Libya that effectively overthrew the regime of Muammar Gaddafi that got in the way of the U.S. and the West. The result: Libya is in utter shambles, torn apart by reactionary warlords and is a breeding ground for ISIS. Some 400,000 Libyans have fled their homes since the U.S. and its NATO allies overthrew Gaddafi. (see “No—It’s NOT OUR EMPIRE! A Revolutionary Response to Hillary Clinton’s Anti-Trump Speech“)

This is not because Hillary Clinton is necessarily particularly vicious as an individual. She may be just as loving as her slick video tribute made her out to be and her daughter claims she is—or she may not—but the hard truth is that this empire requires that those who rise within it be as ruthless in their job as Hillary Clinton has proven herself to be.  This is a worldwide system of exploitation and it requires huge and deadly military force to enforce that plunder and parasitism and all the oppressive social relations that go with it.

A Moment of Truth

There is a moment of truth here. The ruling class has given you a “choice” in this election between a fascist lunatic and a past, present, and future world-class war criminal. Choosing from those “alternatives” is unconscionable, and will end in complicity with the crimes that either of these monsters will commit.


The very fact that these are the choices being put forward by this system as legitimate tells you a great deal about how this whole system is IL-legitimate. This is not a system that we should be working to reform or tweak or move a tiny centimeter this way or that. We need to set our sights on human emancipation, all over this planet, and that requires getting rid of this system.

No, there is not a shortcut to a society on the road to human emancipation. There is no painless way to get there, no way to wield the instruments given you by this ruling class to lead to liberation—not when they possess the bottom-line monopoly on force. They use those instruments of real dictatorship now for even relatively peaceful demonstrations against police brutality or Occupy or any number of things, and they would ratchet that up exponentially, as they have in the past, in the face of any real challenge.

There is no shortcut... but there IS a path. There is a real leader, Bob Avakian, who has qualitatively further forged a scientific analysis of why this society is the way it is, and who’s hammered out a real vision and very viable model for how a society on the road to human emancipation would actually work. This is a leader who has spent decades of his life working on how ALL people all around the world could emancipate themselves as part of emancipating humanity... a leader of tremendous principle who tells people the truth... he has developed incredibly advanced theory while never losing a deep understanding of and connection to the conditions of those who catch the most hell in our society... a leader who has proven through sacrifice, determination and dedication that he won’t betray the interests of the oppressed and has taken responsibility to advance the understanding needed to make an ACTUAL revolution and bring into being a whole different society.

If you have not checked out the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, you don’t know what is ACTUALLY possible. If you haven’t looked into our “Statement on Strategy” and “On the Possibility of Revolution,” you have no idea how the strengths of the enemy could be transformed into weaknesses... and how thousands could influence millions today in preparation for leading them when crisis deepens and the all-out struggle for power comes on the agenda...preparing for, and bringing closer, the time for an ACTUAL revolution. If you haven’t got into this, you actually don’t know what could really be done. And if you haven’t seen this leader for yourself, on video—in dialogue with Cornel West, or in his speech Revolution—Nothing Less! or the Revolution Talk—you are missing out on something that could not just change your life, but answer the most agonizing questions before us about who we are, who we should follow and what kind of world is possible and should be fought for.

Both these conventions made clear that whoever wins, they really have nothing to offer beyond a future of war and repression and of worshipping the enforcers of that, a future of ever-worsening inequalities all over the planet, a future of horrors and ecological disasters. Doesn’t this situation demand you seriously grapple with this leadership and what he’s brought forward?

If you are serious about an actual revolution, you have to seriously get into Bob Avakian (BA)


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