Revolution #576, December 31, 2018 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #576 December 31, 2018

A Challenge to Those Who Say, “But of Course You Have to Vote for the Democrats...”

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

How many murders must a single organization carry out before you are ready to call it an institution of mass murder?

How many invasions must it launch, how many millions of people in foreign lands must it slaughter, how many times must it threaten the world with nuclear war (and even use nuclear weapons), before you call that organization a bane to humanity and a dire threat to its very existence?

How towering must be its crimes before you raise the question as to whether there is something criminal in its very essence, and honestly seek to find the answer? And if you do find out, are you willing to go where your research leads and draw the appropriate conclusions?

As the accompanying chart shows, the Democratic Party is clearly second to none in the category of imperialist invasions and crimes against humanity and, if you total it all up, holds the world record for slaughtering and displacing people whose only “crimes” were to get in the way of U.S. imperialist interests. Yes, the Republicans certainly give them a run for their money, but any notion that somehow the Democrats are more peace loving or at least less interventionist is belied by the accompanying chart, which goes from the waning days of World War 2 on up to today.

So again, how much must the blood of those who are not Americans flow before you actually engage the CAUSE of the problem and what is REALLY necessary for its solution?

The source of these wars, the cause of these wars, lies in a system: capitalism-imperialism. This is a system in which a handful of powerful countries compete with each other to dominate and exploit the entire world. This is a system that promises a “good life” (for some) in the USA, Europe, and elsewhere—a life of privilege that rests on the bitter and grinding exploitation of the billions of people in the Bangladeshes, Cambodias, Mexicos, and South Africas of the world.

The wars waged in the accompanying chart were waged to secure and maintain American domination over the peoples of those countries and, even more so in the past period, against rival imperialists. The refugees now knocking at the doors of the imperialist countries are refugees from those wars, as well as from the ecological catastrophe and economic distortions and destruction wrought by capitalism-imperialism. And now the very imperialists responsible for the refugees’ flight callously refuse them entrance and, on top of that, use them as scapegoats for the benumbed and moronized sections of the U.S. populace.

There is absolutely no reason for the production of the world’s necessities to be organized on the basis of a system that can only function through exploitation. This system of capitalism-imperialism is totally unnecessary. Schemes to modify it cannot defy its most basic law: expand or die. This heartless and unforgiving logic plays itself out on every level and in every sphere of society, taking especially concentrated form in the wars on this chart. This system CANNOT be reformed; it MUST be overthrown, through revolution. (For why this is so and how such a revolution could be made, go here.)

And there is in fact a model and blueprint for a whole different way. Bob Avakian (BA) has critically summed up the experience of the Soviet Union and China when those countries were traveling on the revolutionary road, deeply analyzing their achievements as well as their errors in both policy and basic approach, and coming up with a new synthesis of communism. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, written by BA, concretizes and applies this new synthesis to the situation stretching from Day One after the revolution to the transition to a world without oppression and the destructive divisions and antagonisms between people.

Look deeply at what this party you vote for has done; and then lift your sights to what is urgently needed, and could be done, through revolution.

 

And No, Trump’s Promised Withdrawals Do NOT Signify a Better Course

For those of you who have exposed these crimes over decades but have now fallen into the wishful thinking that Trump, by virtue of his abrupt promises to withdraw from Syria and to draw down U.S. forces in Afghanistan, somehow represents a different course: Trump’s “disruption” of traditional alliances and commitments is almost certainly mere prelude to an even more aggressive stance, focused in different ways and proceeding from a different strategy, in order to make “America First.”

 

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Revolution #576 December 31, 2018

The Republican Party Is Fascist
The Democratic Party Is Also a Machine of Massive War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity
This System CANNOT Be Reformed—It MUST Be Overthrown!

Republicans, Democrats and U.S. Crimes Against Humanity: A Chart

 

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

To our readers: This is an updated version of the table we published last week. If you have ideas on additional crimes or ideas on layout, please send and we will consider. But we strongly feel that even THIS is a stunning and telling indictment of the U.S. ruling class as a whole and the Democratic Party in particular.

Scroll down for a
downloadable PDF poster

U.S. Wars and Interventions

President

The Human Cost

The nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, August 1945

Harry Truman (D)

As Japan was suing for peace and World War 2 was coming to an end, on August 6, the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb ever used on the city of Hiroshima. By the end of 1945, between 140,000 and 150,000 people, overwhelmingly civilians, died from the attack and hundreds of thousands more were wounded. On August 9, the U.S. dropped an even more powerful nuclear bomb on Nagasaki, destroying the city and murdering another 70,000 people.1

Military intervention in the Chinese Revolution, 1945-1949

Truman (D)

By 1945, Japan had been defeated, in large part by decades of revolutionary struggle under the leadership of Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party. A civil war soon broke out between China’s revolutionaries and the reactionary Nationalist Party (Kuomintang/KMT) under Chiang Kai-shek. The U.S. funneled billions in aid and military equipment to the KMT. The roughly 100,000 American troops stationed in China advised, trained, organized, and supported Chiang’s forces, even airlifting 500,000 to different battlefronts. Without U.S. backing the KMT would have been defeated more—perhaps much more—quickly. So U.S. intervention prolonged the conflict and contributed significantly to the terrible toll on the Chinese. Between 1945 and 1949, an estimated 2.5 million were killed, millions more were displaced, the economy collapsed, and tens of millions were left destitute.2

Turning Micronesia into a nuclear testing ground, 1946-1962

Truman (D)

Dwight Eisenhower (R)

John Kennedy (D)

 

From 1946 to 1962, the U.S. turned Micronesia—a region in the Western Pacific Ocean comprising thousands of small islands, including the Marshall Islands—into a nuclear test site which it named the “Pacific Proving Ground.” It carried out its first test by exploding a nuclear bomb over Bikini Atoll in 1946, and between 1947 and 1962 carried out 102 tests over, on, or under the waters of these precious islands. Of these tests, 67 were atomic bombs.

Some islands were evacuated prior to testing and were obliterated. But other tests were carried out on inhabited islands and people were exposed to huge amounts of nuclear fallout and suffered acute radiation illness including nausea, vomiting, burns, hair loss, hypothyroidism, and miscarriages. Some were guinea pigs in a secret medical experiment to study the effects of radiation on human beings. Today, 60 years after nuclear testing, entire islands remain uninhabitable and many islanders still suffer their aftereffects, in some instances with thyroid cancer rates 200 percent above the national baseline.3

Military intervention in Greek civil war, 1947-49

Truman (D)

In 1947, the U.S. took over from Britain, whose troops had spent three years trying to crush the pro-Soviet leftist fighters that had driven the Nazi invaders from many parts of Greece during World War 2. The U.S. armed, trained, and led the reactionary Greek military in a bloody counterinsurgency against these anti-fascist Greek guerrilla fighters who held out for nearly three years, suffering losses of many tens of thousands before their surrender in October 1949. In this “Third Phase” of the Greek civil war, the total deaths were estimated at 158,000 and a million people were forced from their homes (including through U.S.-orchestrated “pacification”). After surrendering, “Almost 100,000 ELAS fighters and communist sympathizers serving in DSE ranks were imprisoned, exiled or executed.” The U.S. then “exercised almost dictatorial control” of Greece in the economic sphere, according to a prominent Greek politician.4

The Korean War,

1950-53

Truman (D)

Eisenhower (R)

In June 1950, the U.S. orchestrated a United Nations invasion of Korea, and sent over 340,000 American troops. Over the next three years of combat and massive bombings, U.S. and U.S.-led forces killed more than three million people: two million North Korean civilians, 500,000 North Korean soldiers, between 900,000 and a million Chinese soldiers. There were also 1.3 million South Korean casualties, including 400,000 dead.5

Korean War 1950-53: U.S. Army photo depicts the summary execution of 1,800 South Korean political prisoners July 1950 carried out by the U.S.-installed puppet Syngman Rhee.

U.S. nuclear threats against China and North Korea, 1950-1951

Truman (D)

On November 30, 1950, Truman stated publicly that the U.S. was considering using nuclear weapons against Chinese and North Korean forces. That day, the Strategic Air Command was ordered to “be prepared to dispatch without delay medium bomb groups to the Far East ... this augmentation should include atomic capability.” Some in government advocated a “limited war” against China, including air attacks and a naval blockade. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, then in overall command of U.S. forces in Korea, argued for dropping 30 to 50 atomic bombs on Manchuria and Chinese cities. (Truman feared this could end up harming U.S. interests and fired MacArthur in the spring of 1951.)6

CIA coup in Iran, 1953

Truman (D)

Eisenhower (R)

On August 19, 1953, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), along with British intelligence, launched a military coup overthrowing Iran’s popular, elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh. In 1951, during an upsurge of protest against British colonialism, Mossadegh had nationalized Britain’s Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.

That day, CIA-organized mobs, joined by the military, took over streets chanting “Long live the Shah! Death to Mossadegh!” Street battles raged. By late afternoon, military units seized control of Mossadegh’s house, breaking the resistance. By evening, 300 lay dead, and Iran’s Mohammad Reza Shah [King] Pahlavi’s throne was secure.

Iran’s nationalist upsurge was crushed. The U.S. replaced Britain as the dominant imperialist power in Iran. Mossadegh’s nationalization was reversed, and U.S. oil giants were cut in on the spoils, reaping enormous profits. The coup embedded Iran as a key military outpost for the U.S. against regional liberation struggles and in its Cold War clash with the Soviet Union.

The Shah ruled as an iron-fisted U.S. puppet for 25 years. Speaking out risked arrest by SAVAK, his U.S.-trained secret police. Thousands were murdered, jailed, or barbarically tortured—they even threatened to torture children in front of their parents. When millions rose against the Shah in 1978-79, he shot down thousands with U.S. backing before being ousted. The 1953 coup and what followed ended up helping pave the way for a new Iranian nightmare: the 1979 founding of the Islamic Republic of Iran.7

U.S. threatens nuclear attack against Iraq’s 1958 revolution

Eisenhower (R)

After the pro-Western Iraqi monarchy was overthrown in a nationalist military coup, the U.S. threatened war against the new republic. U.S. forces, including the Strategic Air Command, were put on worldwide alert, and 70 naval vessels, hundreds of aircraft, and 14,000 Marines were dispatched to neighboring Lebanon, including an atomic unit with artillery capable of firing nuclear shells. Eisenhower had secretly ordered the military to prepare to use nuclear weapons to prevent an Iraqi takeover of Kuwait’s oil fields. In response to U.S. threats and deployments, the Soviet Union began large-scale maneuvers on its borders with Turkey and Iran. “Until the makeup and intentions of the new Republic of Iraq became clear, ‘general war’ was a real possibility,” one journalist summed up.8

Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Eisenhower (R)

John Kennedy (D)

Lyndon Johnson (D)

Richard Nixon (R)

Gerald Ford (R)

The U.S.first sent military advisers, then more than 500,000 troops, and dropped millions of tons of bombs in an effort to defeat the national liberation struggle of the Vietnamese people and prevent either revolutionary China or the imperialist Soviet Union from strengthening their influence in Southeast Asia. By the time the war ended in America’s defeat in April 1975, its military had slaughtered some two million Vietnamese civilians and one million Vietnamese soldiers.9

My Lai massacre.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Planning for nuclear war with the Soviet Union and China, 1950s and ’60s.

Truman (D)

Eisenhower (R)

Kennedy (D)

 

Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg saw a copy of these war plans in 1961.He later wrote: “The total death toll as calculated by the Joint Chiefs, from a U.S. first strike aimed at the Soviet Union, its Warsaw Pact satellites, and China, would be roughly six hundred million dead. A hundred Holocausts.”10

Murdering the Congo’s Patrice Lumumba, installing the butcher Mobutu, 1961-1997

Eisenhower (R)

Kennedy (D)

Lyndon B. Johnson (D)

Richard Nixon (R)

Gerald Ford (R)

Jimmy Carter (D)

Ronald Reagan (R)

George H.W. Bush (R)

Bill Clinton (D)

 

On January 17, 1961, a firing squad shot to death the Congolese anti-colonialist leader Patrice Lumumba, just months after he’d been elected prime minister of the newly founded Republic of the Congo. This brutal murder was carried out by Lumumba’s Congolese enemies, but it had been called for by President Eisenhower in August 1960 and organized by CIA Director Allen Dulles, who wrote the CIA station chief in the Congo that Lumumba’s “removal must be an urgent and prime objective.”

Murdering Lumumba, who sought to use the Congo’s vast mineral resources to improve its people’s lives, and then in 1965 installing the brutal regime of Mobutu Sese Seko, turned the Congo into a bulwark for U.S. political and military intervention in Africa for nearly three decades. While global imperialism and Mobutu plundered the country, Congolese suffered hellish enslavement and medieval destitution. “How do I describe ... the feeling of holding in my arms a child half-dead from lack of protein,” one eyewitness wrote, “his hair a sickly orange, his face bloated and puffy, his abdomen an overstretched balloon?” Meanwhile, Carter intervened to save Mobutu in 1977 and 1978, Reagan hailed him as “a voice of good sense and good will,” and George H.W. Bush called him “our best friend in Africa.”11

The Bay of Pigs invasion, 1961

Kennedy (D)

The U.S. attempted to spark the overthrow of Cuba’s government, headed by Fidel Castro, by organizing this invasion by reactionary Cuban exiles. It was defeated, but during the fighting some 2,000 to 6,000 Cuban soldiers, militia personnel, and others were killed, wounded, or went missing.12

Cuban missile crisis, 1962

Kennedy (D)

The U.S. was carrying out secret operations to overthrow the Cuban government (and on another front, had also stationed nuclear missiles threatening the Soviet Union in Turkey). At Cuba’s request, the Soviets placed 36 nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba. The U.S. demanded the missiles be removed, sent U-2 spy planes over Cuba (one was shot down), placed a naval blockade on Cuba, dropped depth charges near a disabled Soviet submarine, considered invading, and put its nuclear forces on DEFCON 2 alert, the highest level short of nuclear war. For 13 days, the world hovered on the brink of nuclear holocaust before the crisis was defused.13

Invasion of Dominican Republic, 1965

Johnson (D)

On April 28, 1965, 22,000 U.S. Marines and other troops invaded the Dominican Republic to crush a just, mass uprising against the country’s pro-U.S. tyranny. Some 3,000 to 4,000 Dominicans were killed, although others estimated that the death toll was as high as 6,000 to 10,000.14

CIA orchestrates bloodbath in Indonesia, 1965-1966

Johnson (D)

For many months, starting at the end of 1965, the reactionary Indonesian military, led by the pro-U.S. General Suharto, as well as other reactionary forces that it unleashed, slaughtered people with wild abandon. This massive bloodbath was set in motion, backed, and orchestrated by the U.S., which provided the military with equipment, weapons, and ultimately tens of billions of dollars. CIA advisers counseled Indonesian generals and provided them with a “hit list” of 5,000, then checked off their names as they were murdered. When the bloodletting ended, at least 500,000, perhaps more than a million, had been killed, including members of the Communist Party of Indonesia, trade unionists, intellectuals, teachers, land reform advocates, ordinary peasants, ethnic Chinese, women, and children. Hundreds of thousands more were arrested and tortured.15

Bombing of Laos, 1965-1973

Johnson (D)

Nixon (R)

During the war in Vietnam, U.S. warplanes dropped two million tons of bombs on the small neighboring country of Laos, more than had been dropped on Germany or Japan during World War 2. These included anti-personnel cluster bombs. There’s been no accounting of those killed or wounded during the bombing, but over 20,000 people have been killed or maimed by unexploded ordinance—including cluster bombs—in the decades since the war ended.16

Bombing of Cambodia, 1969-1973

Nixon (R)

The U.S. also carpet bombed Cambodia during the war in Vietnam, directly or indirectly killing 100,000 to 600,000 Cambodians—mostly civilians. Hundreds of thousands more likely died due to displacement, disease, and starvation in this period. Over two million people, more than 25 percent of its population, were driven from their homes in the countryside.17

Christmas bombing of North Vietnam, December 18-29, 1972

Nixon (R)

The U.S. massively bombed the densely populated cities of Hanoi and Haiphong to force concessions by North Vietnam in negotiations to end the war. It claimed 1,600 Vietnamese civilians were killed, but Vietnamese sources estimate there were 2,300 civilian deaths—about 1,500 in Hanoi alone.18

CIA-organized military coup in Chile, 1973

Nixon (R)

Beginning in the early morning hours of September 11, 1973, the Chilean military, with political guidance and secret backing from the U.S., carried out a coup against the leftist government of Chilean president Salvador Allende. More than 3,000 Chilean people were executed, thousands more were “disappeared,” and tens of thousands tortured; over 140,000 people were rounded up during the coup, and in the few years that followed, as many as one million people out of Chile’s population of 11 million were forced into exile.19

U.S. foments civil war in Angola, 1975-1994

 

Ford (R)

Carter (D)

Reagan (R)

George H.W. Bush (R)

Clinton (D)

In the 1960s, when the Angolan people were fighting to lift the yoke of Portuguese colonialism, the U.S. backed the Portuguese government’s attempts to crush their struggle—including supplying the colonial regime with napalm. In 1975, when Portugal ended its rule and the Angolan MPLA was set to take power, the U.S. began arming, funding, and militarily assisting the reactionary anti-MPLA butchers of UNITA headed by Jonas Savimbi. The U.S. also backed South Africa’s military intervention in Angola to weaken or overthrow the MPLA government, prevent the Soviet Union or its ally Cuba from gaining a foothold in Southern Africa, and help preserve the apartheid government of South Africa. A savage civil war was unleashed which lasted until 2002. Some 500,000 were killed, over four million were driven from their homes, and the society was devastated. The U.S. rulers only dialed back their support for the civil war in 1993 when the Soviet Union had collapsed. After the war, “80 percent of people have no access to basic medical care. More than two-thirds have no running water. A whole generation of children has never opened a schoolbook. Life expectancy is less than 40 years. Three in ten children will die before reaching their fifth birthday,” the New York Times reported.20

Covertly fueling terror in Mozambique, 1977-1992

Carter (D)

Reagan (R)

George H.W. Bush (R)

Between 1977 and 1992, the U.S. covertly fueled a reactionary war and a barbaric campaign of mass terror in the southern Africa country of Mozambique. This newly independent nation was ruled by the nationalist Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), which was aided by the Soviet Union. The white settler states of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and South Africa, secretly backed by the U.S., formed, supported, and armed the “Mozambican National Resistance” (RENAMO). Their goal: to force Mozambique to halt support for the just struggle against apartheid South Africa, drive it into the arms of Western imperialism, and prevent the imperialist Soviet Union from gaining a foothold in southern Africa.

RENAMO systematically carried out crimes against humanity as part of a strategy to cripple and destabilize Mozambique’s government. It abducted children to be soldiers. It forced villagers to produce food, transport munitions, and turned village women into sex slaves—devastating agriculture (as well as the country’s infrastructure) and spawning mass starvation and famines which killed hundreds of thousands. It carried out brutal massacres, including the 1987 slaughter of 424 civilians, including hospital patients in the town of Homoine, and directly murdered some 100,000 people in all. U.S. ally South Africa gave RENAMO logistical, military, and financial support, and also carried out direct attacks in Mozambique, including cross-border raids, aerial bombings, sabotage, assassinations, kidnappings, even a 1986 invasion aimed at cutting Mozambique in half in 1986. Between 600,000 and one million died of war-related causes.

The U.S. secretly supported this slaughter—through private parties (the right-wing Heritage Foundation gave RENAMO office space in Washington, DC, for instance) and covert backing for South Africa. Author Mahmood Mamdani summed up, “Simply put, after the defeat in Vietnam and the Watergate scandal, the United States decided to harness, and even to cultivate, terrorism in the struggle against regimes it considered pro-Soviet.”21

Supporting Indonesian genocide in East Timor, 1975-1999

Ford (R)

Carter (D)

Reagan (R)

George H.W. Bush (R)

Clinton (D)

On December 6, 1975, President Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger met with America’s close ally, Indonesian dictator Suharto (who spearheaded the mass slaughter of leftists in 1965 and then staged a military coup in 1967—all with U.S. backing), and green-lighted Indonesia’s invasion of its neighbor, East Timor. “What followed was one of the greatest genocides of the 20th century. It is estimated that up to one-third of the Timorese population was killed through a policy of army massacre and enforced starvation. Many of those who were left were imprisoned and tortured by a military armed and trained by the United States.” The slaughter continued for almost 25 years. In 1999, after the Timorese voted for independence from Indonesia, pro-Indonesia forces murdered about 14,000 people. A few months later, the U.S. president—this time Clinton—was again meeting with Suharto to strengthen ties with his murderous regime.22

U.S. proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, 1979-1989

 

Carter (D)

Reagan (R)

After the Soviet Union, the U.S.’s main imperialist rival, invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the U.S., along with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, armed, organized, and funded the reactionary Islamic fundamentalist Mujahideen (who later became Afghanistan’s Taliban and Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda) to wage war against the Soviet forces and the Afghan regime it backed. When the Soviets finally pulled out of Afghanistan in 1989, between 800,000 and 1.5 million Afghans (along with 15,000 Soviet soldiers) had been killed in this reactionary bloodbath and five million Afghans, one-third of its population at the time, had been driven out of the country as refugees.23

U.S. threatens tactical nuclear war over Iran, 1980

Carter (D)

During and immediately after the 1979 Iranian revolution, the U.S. and the Soviet Union engaged in a series of high-stakes warnings and threats, backed by military maneuvers and nuclear alerts, to maintain or increase their leverage in Iran. In August 1980, the U.S. warned the Soviets that any move into Iran would lead to a direct military confrontation. Those options included the use of tactical nuclear weapons. For the first time, National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski later wrote, “the United States deliberately sought for itself the capability to manage a protracted nuclear conflict.”24

U.S. backs El Salvador death squads, 1980-92

Carter (D)

Reagan (R)

George H.W. Bush (R)

To crush a guerrilla struggle against its brutal client regime, the U.S. supported, funded, and armed death squads that carried out extra-judicial executions and massacres which killed as many as 75,000 Salvadorans25

Fueling the Iran-Iraq war, 1980-1988

Carter (D)

Reagan (R)

In September 1980, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein invaded Iran with a green light from the U.S. Their common goal—to weaken or topple the new Islamic Republic. The U.S. sold (or had allies sell) arms to Iraq, including the capability to make biological and chemical weapons (which were used against Iran), and provided military intelligence. For a time, the U.S. also supplied Iran with weapons. U.S. machinations prolonged the war and worsened the slaughter: Conservative estimates place the death toll at 262,000 to 367,000 Iranians and 105,000 Iraqis, plus an estimated 700,000 injured or wounded on both sides.26

The U.S.-sponsored Contra war in Nicaragua, 1981-1988

Reagan (R)

George H.W. Bush (R)

 

After the Sandinistas overthrew the pro-U.S. Somoza dictatorship in 1978, and established friendly ties with the Soviet Union, the U.S. was determined to overthrow them. “For eight terrible long years, the people of Nicaragua were under attack by Washington’s proxy army, the Contras, formed from Somoza’s vicious National Guardsmen and other supporters of the dictator. It was all-out war ... burning down schools and medical clinics, raping, torturing, mining harbors, bombing and strafing.” As many as 50,000 people were killed. In 1990 the U.S. forced a “free election” with the threat of escalated terror if people supported the Sandinista government. It fell. Today, Nicaragua is one of the poorest and most violence plagued nations in the hemisphere.27

U.S.-backed genocide in Guatemala, 1982-1983

Reagan (R)

In 1982, the U.S. backed a military coup by the Christian fanatic General José Efraín Ríos Montt, who then launched a genocidal assault on Guatemala’s indigenous Mayan population. With U.S. aid and support, Guatemala’s military systematically destroyed more than 600 indigenous Mayan villages and slaughtered some 75,000 people. The Guatemalan military regime’s savage, U.S.-supported war against leftist opponents and peasants (which had begun in the 1960s) continued until 1996. During those decades it’s estimated that some 200,000 people were disappeared or killed.28

1982-1983: Armed and backed by the U.S., the Guatemalan military systematically destroyed more than 600 indigenous Mayan villages, and slaughtered some 75,000 people.

Invasion of Grenada, 1983

Reagan (R)

The U.S. invaded this small island nation to overthrow its leftist government, an action the UN denounced as a “flagrant” violation of international law. U.S. forces killed 45 Grenadians and 25 Cubans working there in support of Grenada’s government, and wounded a total of 396 Grenadians and Cubans.29

America’s complicity in the massacre of Iraqi Kurds, 1987-1988

Reagan (R)

After facilitating Iraq’s development of chemical weapons, the U.S. turned a blind eye and continued to support it when it used them against Iraq’s Kurds. As many as 60,000 were massacred, including an estimated 5,000 in one gas attack at Halabja, according to an Iraq scholar. A Defense Intelligence Agency officer told the New York Times that the Pentagon “wasn’t so horrified by Iraq’s use of gas. It was just another way of killing people—whether with a bullet or phosgene, it didn’t make any difference.”30

The shoot-down of Iran Air Flight 655, 1988

Reagan (R)

On July 2, 1988, at a time the U.S. was seeking to end the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq war, the naval warship USS Vincennes shot down an unarmed Iranian civilian passenger jet—Iran Air Flight 655—as it flew over the Persian Gulf. All 290 passengers on board were killed.31

The invasion of Panama, 1989-1990

George H.W. Bush (R)

On December 20, 1989, the U.S. military invaded Panama with 27,684 troops and 300 aircraft, removing Manuel Noriega and his Panamanian Defense Force from power. Whole neighborhoods were destroyed and an estimated 3,000-6,000 Panamanians—mainly civilians—were killed.32

On December 20, 1989, the U.S. military invaded Panama with 27,500 troops and 300 aircraft, killing thousands of civilians and removing Manuel Noriega. (Photo: AP)

The Persian Gulf War—the U.S. assault on Iraq, 1990-1991

George H.W. Bush (R)

From January 16 to February 27, 1991, the U.S. waged war against Iraq to strengthen its grip on the Persian Gulf and set the tone for the post-Soviet “new world order” it sought to establish. Some 100,000 Iraqi soldiers were killed and another 300,000 wounded. The war also caused the deaths of 70,000 civilians by January 1992.33

U.S.-UN killer sanctions on Iraq, 1990-2003

George H.W. Bush (R)

Clinton (D)

George W. Bush (R)

In the months leading up to the January-March 1991 Persian Gulf War, the U.S. and UN imposed a crippling economic blockade on Iraq. Then, during the attack, U.S. bombers destroyed much of Iraq’s infrastructure, including its electrical, water, and sewage treatment systems. By 1997, the UN reported that more than 1.2 million Iraqis had died as a result of medical shortages caused by the war and sanctions, including 750,000 children under the age of five. A 1999 survey found that twice as many Iraqi children under five were dying than before the Gulf War. That’s roughly 5,000 Iraqi children under five dying each month thanks to U.S. actions.34

Iraq, 2004
Iraqi woman seeks treatment for her three-month-old son suffering from dehydration due to U.S. sanctions. (Photo: AP)

Military intervention in the former Yugoslavia: Bosnia, 1994-95; Serbia, 1999

Clinton (D)

In the 1990s, the multi-national Republic of Yugoslavia was torn apart by the forces of reactionary nationalism, egged on, backed, and manipulated by Germany, Russia, the U.S., and other imperialist powers. A complex series of brutal wars erupted in which over 100,000 died. At various points, NATO—under U.S. command—intervened in order to shape the outcome in U.S. interests, carrying out its own war crimes. In April 1999 alone, NATO planes conducted hundreds of runs, destroying homes, apartment complexes, and bridges, and killing over 100 civilians in Kosovo and Serbia.35

Invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, 2001-present

George W. Bush (R)

Obama (D)

Donald Trump (R)

In October 2001, U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan, drove the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime from power, and installed a widely hated, pro-U.S. “Islamic Republic.” But the U.S. has never succeeded in defeating the Taliban or stabilizing the country, and the U.S. air and ground war has continued ever since. By August 2016, some 111,000 people had been killed and over 116,000 injured. More than 31,000 of the dead were Afghan civilians.36

Afghanistan, 2008
Children killed by U.S. airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan, 2008. (Photo: AP)

Invasion, occupation, and ongoing intervention in Iraq, 2003-present

 

George W. Bush (R)

Obama (D)

Trump (R)

In 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam Hussein’s regime based on the lie that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. The U.S. war and occupation sparked armed resistance and led to the rise of reactionary Islamic jihadism and the ethnic-sectarian conflict that continues to this day. From 2003 to 2016, 251,000 Iraqis were killed in the war, including between 168,239 and 187,378 civilians. Other studies estimate that between 1.2 and 1.4 million (and perhaps as many as 2.4 million) have died from the war’s direct and indirect impacts. More than 4.2 million Iraqis had been injured and at least 4.5 million driven from their homes by 2016.37

U.S., British, French war on Libya, 2011

Obama (D)

In March 2011, the U.S., Britain, and France seized on a mass uprising against Muammar Qaddafi’s oppressive, 42-year-long rule, to launch a war. Their goal: overthrow him and tighten their grip on Libya. For the next seven months, the U.S.-led coalition carried out extensive bombing raids and military operations. By October, between 10,000 and 30,000 had been killed and Qaddafi’s regime had been shattered. Libya was turned into a battleground between reactionaries, and life became a nightmare for the people, with shortages of food, water, and electricity. A third of the population had no medical care, and a half-million people were forced to flee from their homes.38

Arming, backing, and enabling the Saudi-led war in Yemen, 2015-present

Obama (D)

Trump (R)

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia, with U.S. arms, technical support, and political backing, launched a war against Yemen’s Houthi movement, which had taken power. Since then, between 57,000 and 60,000 have been killed, mainly by Saudi air strikes. The Saudis have bombed Yemen’s food, water, and medical systems, causing massive hunger and disease. At least 85,000 children have starved to death as a result, and in 2016 and 2017 alone, 113,000 children died of starvation or preventable disease. Now, 14 million Yemenis are on the brink of famine.39

U.S. support for Israel’s wars, 1948-present

Truman (D)

The Nakba (1948). Israel was created by defeating armies from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq in war, and by violently forcing Palestinians from their lands and homes. Between 1947 and 1949, at least 750,000 Palestinians—of a population of 1.9 million—were expelled and made refugees. Zionist forces took more than 78 percent of historic Palestine, ethnically cleansed and destroyed about 530 villages and cities, and killed about 15,000 Palestinians in a series of mass atrocities, including more than 70 massacres. The U.S. supported the foundation of Israel, seeing an opportunity to undercut British influence in the region and strengthen its own. One of Truman’s aides argued that Israel “could become a strategic asset—a kind of stationary aircraft carrier to protect American interests in the Mediterranean and the Middle East.”40

 

Johnson (D)

1967 War [“Six-Day War”] (June 5, 1967-June 10, 1967). In 1967, Israel launched a preemptive war against Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, crippling their air forces. Israel then carried out a successful ground offensive, seizing the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip from Egypt; the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan; and the Golan Heights from Syria. Egypt’s casualties numbered more than 11,000, with 6,000 for Jordan, and 1,000 for Syria, compared with only 700 for Israel. This overwhelming military victory impressed on U.S. strategic thinkers that Israel was the key ally to ensure American domination in the Middle East. The U.S. began providing Israel cutting-edge weapons and jet fighters, and a massive flood of U.S. military aid that continues to this day. (Since its founding, the U.S. has given Israel a staggering $134 billion in aid—including over $94 billion in military aid—far more than the U.S. has given to any other country.) This established Israel’s military superiority over Arab regimes, and Israel increasingly functioned as an American proxy and attack dog, not only in the Middle East, but around the world.41

 

Nixon (R)

1973 Arab-Israeli War (October 6, 1973-October 26, 1973) started after a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria fought to regain lands that had been seized by Israel in the 1967 war. The lowest casualty estimate is 8,000 (5,000 Egyptians and 3,000 Syrians) killed and 18,000 wounded. The highest estimate is 18,500 (15,000 Egyptians and 3,500 Syrians) killed. The U.S. fully backed Israel, even putting its nuclear forces on alert as a warning to the Soviets against intervening unilaterally in the war. It saw this (and the June 1967 war) as a way to bludgeon the surrounding Arab countries, and to demonstrate, as then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger put it, “the limits of Soviet influence.” They were also aimed at crushing the Palestinian liberation struggle, then the region’s most revolutionary and broadly influential movement.42

 

Reagan (R)

1982 Lebanon War (June 1982-September 1982)

Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon with the goals of expelling the Palestine Liberation Organization, removing Syrian influence over Lebanon, and installing a pro-Israeli Christian government. By the end of the second week, International Red Cross and Lebanese police figures claimed up to 14,000 people died and 20,000 were injured, mostly civilians. During the Siege of Beirut, by late August 1982, Lebanese sources put the death toll in Beirut at 6,776. Lebanese police and international doctors serving in Beirut put the share of civilian casualties at about 80 percent. While some in the Reagan administration may have been concerned about the fallout from Israel’s attack, the U.S. continued to staunchly support Israel overall, including the need to crush the Palestinian resistance and other anti-U.S. forces in the region.43

 

George W. Bush (R)

Massacre in Gaza, 2008-09

Between December 27, 2008 and January 19, 2009, Israel waged a war of wanton death and destruction as collective punishment of Gazans after Hamas (an Islamist Party) was voted into power. Between 1,166 and 1,417 people were killed, including 844 unarmed civilians, 281 of them children. On January 9, Democrats and Republicans in both houses of Congress voted overwhelmingly in support of Israel’s actions, declaring—in direct opposition to the findings of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Red Cross, and other humanitarian organizations—that Israel’s armed forces bore no responsibility for the large numbers of civilian casualties from their assault on Gaza.44

 

Obama (D)

2014 Gaza War (July 8, 2014-August 26, 2014)

2,251 Palestinians were killed, including 1,462 Palestinian civilians, of whom 299 were women and 551 children; and 11,231 Palestinians, including 3,540 women and 3,436 children, were injured, of whom 10 percent suffered permanent disability as a result. Again, both Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate passed resolutions unanimously supporting Israel’s slaughter.45

 

Trump (R)

2018—the Great March of Return

Weekly protests began March 30, 2018 at Gaza’s border with Israel. They demanded that Israel’s crippling blockade be lifted and Palestinian refugees be given the right to return to their homes stolen by Israel in the 1948 war. The protests were also fueled by the Trump/Pence regime’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem—a big “fuck you” to the Palestinian people and a green light for Israeli ethnic cleansing. Unarmed protests have continued since then, and as of October 2018 over 150 Palestinians have been killed in the demonstrations. At least 10,000 others have been injured, including 1,849 children, 424 women, 115 paramedics, and 115 journalists. Of those injured, 5,814 were hit by live ammunition. The Trump/Pence regime responded by blaming the unarmed Palestinians for the violence.46

U.S. drone strikes in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia, 2002-present

 

George W. Bush (R)

Obama (D)

Trump (R)

Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the George W. Bush administration launched the so-called “war on terror”—a global war to retaliate for the attacks and expand and strengthen the U.S. empire. This war went after all manner of states and forces the U.S. rulers considered obstacles or opponents, and America’s drone war became a key component.

Drones deployed from dozens of secret facilities in the Middle East, Africa, and Southwest Asia, directed from operational hubs in the U.S.—where the buttons are pushed and the missiles launched, thousands of miles away from the bloodshed.

Over the next years, tens of millions in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia came to live in daily danger of terrorist attack—from U.S. drones. People gathered in groups at wedding parties, tribal meetings, or car convoys have been slaughtered by America’s remote-controlled high-tech death machines. In the dehumanizing jargon of the U.S. military, people killed by drones on purpose are referred to as “jackpots” while unintended deaths are referred to as “EKIAs”—“Enemies Killed in Action”—a category that includes women, children, and people bombed in homes or at social gatherings.

The Obama administration greatly stepped up the number of unmanned drone attacks, launching more than 300 against Pakistan alone—six times the number ordered by Bush—as well as dozens more against Yemen, Somalia, and perhaps other countries in the region.

Totals to date:

Minimum Confirmed Strikes: 5,861

Total Killed: 8,289-11,792

Civilians Killed: 758-1,619

Children Killed: 252-36947

 

 


1. American Crime Case #97: August 6 and 9, 1945—The Nuclear Incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, revcom.us, May 23, 2016  [back]

2. American Crime #49: 1950-53— Encircling, Threatening and Attacking the Chinese Revolution, revcom.us, January 1, 2018; William Blum, Killing Hope – U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II(Common Courage 1995), pp. 21-23; Alpha History, “The Chinese Civil War,” 2018.  [back]

3. American Crime Case #88: “Nuclear Testing in the Pacific,” revcom.us, July 18, 2016  [back]

4. Blum, Killing Hope, pp. 34-39; “Greek Civil WAR (1946-1949),” The Apricity.  [back]

5. American Crime #93: U.S. Invasion of Korea—1950, revcom.us, June 13, 2016.  [back]

6. American Crime #49: 1950-53— Encircling, Threatening and Attacking the Chinese Revolution, revcom.us, January 1, 2018.  [back]

7. Case #98: 1953 CIA Coup in Iran: Torture and Repression – Made in the U.S.A.,” revcom.us, May 16, 2016  [back]

8. Larry Everest, Oil, Power & Empire – Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda (Common Courage, 2004), pp. 65-67  [back]

9. American Crime #96: Vietnam, March 16, 1968 – The My Lai Massacre, revcom.us, May 23, 2016.  [back]

10. Daniel Ellsberg, The Doomsday Machine – Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, p. 3  [back]

11. “Case #73: The CIA-Directed Murder of Patrice Lumumba,” revcom.us, November 7, 2016; Rogue State, pp. 137-138; see also, Stephen R. Weissman, “What Really Happened in Congo - The CIA, the Murder of Lumumba, and the Rise of Mobutu,” Foreign Affairs, July/August 2014; “Zaire: An African Horror Story,” Atlantic, August 1993; “LOOKING BACK IN ANGER: LIFE IN MOBUTU'S ZAIRE,” Washington Post, June 1, 1997  [back]

12. American Crime #45: The Bay of Pigs Invasion, 1961, revcom.us, February 12, 2018  [back]

13. The Nuclear Close Calls: The Cuban Missile Crisis, Atomic Heritage Foundation, June 15, 2018.  [back]

14. American Crime #68: The 1965 U.S. Invasion of Dominican Republic, revcom.us #476, January 28, 2017.  [back]

15. American Crime Case 100: "1965 Massacre in Indonesia,"  revcom.us,  May 2, 2016.  [back]

16. Killing Hope, p. 88; “The Bombing of Laos: By the Numbers,” ABC NEWS, September 6, 2016 6  [back]

17. American Crime Case #47: The Bombing of Cambodia, 1969-1973, revcom.us #526, January 15, 2018  [back]

18. American Crime Case #34: America's 1972 Christmas Bombings North Vietnam, revcom.us, December 17, 2018.  [back]

19. American Crime Case #57: The 1973 CIA Coup in Chile, revcom.us, October 22, 2017;William Blum, Rogue State – A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower (Common Courage, 2000), p. 143  [back]

20. Rogue State, p. 147; Killing Hope, pp. 249-257; “Apartheid in South Africa: Decades of Serving the U.S. Empire,” revcom.us, December 9, 2013; Polgreen, Lydia, "Angolans Come Home to 'Negative Peace,'" New York Times, July 30, 2003  [back]

21. Mahmood Mamdami, “Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: A Political Perspective on Culture and Terrorism,” American Anthropologist, Sept 2002; Mozambique: Civil war, World Peace Foundation, August 7, 2015; “Evolution of political events in the Southern African region,” Extracts from APARTHEID TERRORISM - Destabilisation report by the Commonwealth Secretariat, 1989 (from “A Crime Against Humanity—Analysing the Repression of the Apartheid State,” posted at South African History Online (SAHO).  [back]

22. “Massacre: The Story of East Timor,” Democracy Now!, November 12,1997  [back]

23. Oil, Power & Empire, p. 90; The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, 1979-1989, ThoughtCo.com  [back]

24. Oil, Power & Empire, pp. 91-93, Ellsberg, p. 321  [back]

25. American Crime Case #38: The U.S. Backs El Salvador’s Death Squad Government, 1980 to 1992,” revcom.us, July 9, 2018.  [back]

26. Oil, Power & Empire, p. 99  [back]

27. Rogue State, P. 146-147; “Legacy of Civil Wars - In Central America, Reagan Remains A Polarizing Figure,” Washington Post, June 10, 2004  [back]

28. American Crime Case #95: Reagan's Butcher Carries Out Genocide in Guatemala, revcom.us, #441, May 30, 2016  [back]

29. Cole, Ronald (1997). “Operation Urgent Fury: The Planning and Execution of Joint Operations in Grenada”  [back]

30. Oil, Power & Empire, pp. 113-114  [back]

31. Oil, Power & Empire, p. 111  [back]

32. American Crime Case #43: The U.S. Invasion of Panama, 1989-1990, revcom.us, April 23, 2018  [back]

33. American Crime Case #32: The 1991 Persian Gulf War, "Operation Desert Storm", revcom.us, December 17, 2018.   [back]

34. American Crime Case #76: U.S.-UN Sanctions On Iraq,"A Legitimized Act of Mass Slaughter, revcom.us, #461, October 17, 2016.  [back]

35. "Yugoslavia: The American Way of War - "Destroying the Village to Save It,Revolutionary Worker #1003, April 25, 1999.  [back]

36. Costs of War -- Update on the Human Costs of War for Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001 to mid-2016, Watson Institute, Brown University.  [back]

37. American Crime Case #70: Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003, revcom.us, December 5, 2016; and "Iraq conflict has killed a million Iraqis: survey," Reuters, January 30, 2008; "1.3 million children displaced by Iraq's war with Islamic State: UNICEF," Reuters, January 19, 2018; "The Staggering Death Toll in Iraq," Medea Benjamin, Nicolas J. S. Davies, AlterNet, March 15, 2018.  [back]

38. American Crime Case #35: The U.S.-NATO War on Libya, revcom.us, September 3, 2018  [back]

39. “85,000 Children in Yemen May Have Died of Starvation,” New York Times, November 21, 2018; “Yemeni children die as warring sides block aid deliveries: UNICEF,” Reuters, NOVEMBER 2, 2018; “Saudi Arabia Escalates Genocidal, American-Backed War in Yemen-U.S. Rulers Maneuver as 14 Million Yemenis on Brink of Starvation,” revcom.us, November 26, 201.  [back]

40. Oil, Power & Empire, p. 61; McDowall, David; Claire Palley (1987). The Palestinians. Minority Rights Group Report no 24. p. 10; The Nakba did not start or end in 1948-Key facts and figures on the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. 23 May 2017, www.aljazeera.com.  [back]

41. "Six Day War,' Encyclopaedia Britannica, November 26, 2018.  [back]

42. Gawrych, George (2000). The Albatross of Decisive Victory: War and Policy Between Egypt and Israel in the 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli Wars; Herzog, Encyclopaedia Judaica, Keter Publishing House, 1974, p. 87; Oil, Power & Empire, p. 56, Ellsberg, p. 321.  [back]

43. Fisk, Robert (2001). Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War. Oxford University Press; Molly Dunigan (28 February 2011). Victory for Hire: Private Security Companies’ Impact on Military Effectiveness. Stanford University Press. pp. 103.  [back]

44. Al-Mughrabi, Nidal, “Israel tightens grip on urban parts of Gaza,” Archived 9 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine; Noam Chomsky, “Exterminate all the Brutes”: Gaza 2009.  [back]

45. "Key figures on the 2014 hostilities - Data featured in the Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict," United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Occupied Palestinian Territory, June 23, 2015; "U.S. Senate Unanimously Approves Resolution Giving Full Support of Israel on Gaza," HAARETZ, July 20, 2014  [back]

46. “U.S.-Israeli Massacre Kills 60 Palestinians and Wounds Over 2,700 
Everyone Must Stand Up and Protest Against These Crimes Against Humanity!
,” Revcom.us, May 14, 2018;, Seven Protesters Killed, Two of Them Children, and 257 Injured at Friday Demonstrations in Gaza, Al Mezan Center For Human Rights, September 29, 2018; “Total US Foreign Aid to Israel 1949-Present, JewishVirtualLibrary.org.  [back]

47. Drone Warfare, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.  [back]

 

 

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Revolution #576 December 31, 2018

The “Prison Reform” Bill

A Tiny Band-Aid to Conceal a Knife in the Gut

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

If you looked at a newspaper the morning after Trump signed his fraudulent “prison reform bill,” you might have seen Van Jones acting like a hood ornament on the fascist juggernaut, prominently standing in the scrum surrounding Trump’s desk.

The bill in fact gives a few relatively small concessions while concealing what may turn out to be a major attack. And we’ll get to both the concession and the attack in a minute.

But the larger significance of this bill—and the larger attack—lies in the collaboration with fascism being carried out by people like Jones, along with the self-deluding and disarming notions coming from people like the writer Michelle Goldberg.

First, to the bill. The bill itself, by the estimates of even its biggest supporters, would reduce the sentences of no more than 4,000 prisoners in the federal system. The sentence reduction is the main thing being touted. That reduction would apply to a little more than two percent of federal prisoners, and when you stack it up against 2.3 million people being held in all prisons, jails and “detention centers,” you are talking about less than one in 500 prisoners, most of whom will have already served long, long bids on bullshit “crimes,” like possession of drugs. And even this pitiful reform has two big catches: First, no immigrants whatsoever are to be allowed early release AND second, the so-called “neutral” algorithm which will determine exactly who among the eligible does get released has been exposed by ProPublica as hiding decidedly racist criteria in its supposedly neutral yardsticks.

In fact, concealed within this extremely minor concession is a major attack. And that shouldn’t be surprising. After all, when the Senate passes a bill 87-12, when significant proponents of prison reform oppose it, and when a long-time racist become fascist chieftain Donald Trump signs it, shouldn’t we be asking some questions about who benefits from all this and why?

First, please note that the two largest “private prison companies” have now “rebranded” themselves as “re-entry” companies. Corrections Corporation of America, for instance, changed its name to CoreCivic (my, how public-spirited the new name sounds!). They not only have plans for vastly expanded use of ankle-bracelets, but for other even more intrusive forms of surveillance as well. So, with the states now strapped for cash and wanting to at least slightly pare down their prison populations, but with the ruling class overall still wanting to heighten their surveillance and control of the Black, Latino and Native American peoples in this country, we could be looking at a whole new phase of mass incarceration and worse.

The second attack is in some ways even more insidious—providing Trump cover to carry out his fascist onslaught. Look, we know Trump and we know America and while he has made numerous threats he has still not yet unleashed the full onslaught against Black people that he has, for instance, against immigrants, we should understand that this is not a matter of if, but of when. Now, however, opportunists like Van Jones (as well as pitiful bootlickers like Kanye West) have provided Trump with invaluable political cover. Van Jones won his disgusting photo-op by doing a whole big CNN interview with Jared Kushner leading into this. Watch this ass-kissing interview here and ask yourself if there is one question that Kushner could not have scripted in advance. Jones has used whatever credibility he pickpocketed from being associated with the “radical” movement of the ’90s to legitimize a regime that is the deadly enemy of the masses, and he has told people that the way forward is NOT massive resistance but conciliation and outright collaboration.

To those like the New York Times designated “woke” columnist Michelle Goldberg, who wrote a column entitled “Donald Trump Is Doing Something...Good?” saying that this bill could be the first step in rolling back the tide of mass incarceration: Wake the fuck up, will you? This is mainly a way to delude and bamboozle people like you into dropping your guard and believing in fairy tales, and staying on the sidelines when the hammer does come down, as it surely will unless it is prevented by massive, in-the-streets struggle.

Look at reality. Ask yourself WHY this is happening. Then act accordingly, and commensurate to the threat we face.

 

 

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Revolution #576 December 31, 2018

Raising Funds for the Revolution Club and Developing Networks of Support for the Revolution

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the Revolution Club, Chicago:

As we head into the end of the year and the world convulses with the disaster this system means for humanity, the movement for revolution has focused some attention toward fundraising as a crucial part of building the revolution that is needed to overthrow this system and replace it with a new socialist republic in North America. In Chicago, where the Revolution Club has been making a concentrated effort for the last year and a half, we have initiated a $30,000 Winter Fund Drive to fund this effort and contribute to developing networks of sustained support for the revolution. This letter is to share some of what we’ve been doing and learning and wrestling with.

The concentrated work in Chicago is discussed by Bob Avakian in the Q&As of the talk he gave this summer, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, especially Part 2 of the Chicago Q&A where he leads a discussion of this with the people attending his talk. He says Chicago has become a concentration point of important contradictions and struggles in society, in particular our youth killing each other and the threats by the Trump regime to even more violently come down on people. And he describes how the effort in Chicago is “to turn this around, to make a breakthrough, to where revolution became something on the ground as an attractive force, especially for these youth.” He points to the possible international effect that this could have. He says we have not yet made the breakthrough needed and we are not going to give up on doing that and points to some of the elements needed to make this breakthrough, and then he puts this question and problem to the people in the room to speak to and help solve.

Taking that same approach of putting the problems of the revolution to the people, the Revolution Club in Chicago looked at what it costs to put in the kind of effort we’ve been making and need to continue to do, and are putting this problem to the masses of people to help solve. We also are learning from BA’s talk overall and the strategy statement, HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution, and wrestling together with how to apply this to understanding and approaching fundraising in a strategic way, in relation to “aiming for something very definite—a revolutionary situation.”

Developing a Fundraising Plan

We pulled a committee together to help get us all focusing on fundraising and develop an approach and plan. And then we have had varying kinds of discussions with the Revolution Club as a whole or in smaller groupings as we’ve started to work on those plans and further develop them. Two things we have wrestled with and continued to come back to from the part of HOW WE CAN WIN on “What we need to do now,” are 1) how fundraising is part of the organized forces and leadership of this revolution becoming the “authority” that people look to and follow, and 2) what this has to do with defeating the attempts of the ruling powers to crush the revolution and its leadership, and with opposing and disrupting the moves of the ruling powers to isolate, “encircle,” brutalize, mass incarcerate and murderously repress the people who have the hardest life under this system and most need this revolution. We have also talked about how what we do with this now is training and preparation for when there is a different kind of situation, as discussed in the part of HOW WE CAN WIN, “How we could defeat them,” and the organized support and assistance of the masses of revolutionary people in their millions will be even more crucial for every need of the struggle.

One thing we haven’t talked about as much or as explicitly but is also very important to all this is the relationship of fundraising to spreading the word about the revolution and its leadership, one of the first tasks discussed in HOW WE CAN WIN and in the film of BA’s speech. Not only is fundraising needed to even be able to spread the word (funds are needed to pay for things like flyers, posters, etc.), but spreading the word of the fundraising needs itself is part of spreading the word of revolution, and breaking through the lack of hope that is suffocating people.

The plans we developed were with the actual financial needs in mind and thinking about how to involve people broadly in this and develop networks of support for the revolution: how people who support what the Revolution Club is doing and feel they are part of it can concretely contribute to that work through donating and becoming part of fundraising, and in so doing are also changing their relationship to the revolution and becoming part of strengthening the “authority” of this revolution and its leadership; how what the Revolution Club mission is in Chicago can further spread to becoming known by many more people and the basis to involve many more people (who want to see an end to the outrageous police murders and to the heart-breaking violence among the people) in supporting it.

We decided we needed to set the goal at what was actually needed, figure out a realistic time frame to meet it, and put this out to people and involve people. Our plans, some of which we’ve begun to do and others we are still developing, are: working with people to do fundraising events and projects; spreading the word broadly of the fundraising campaign through social media, palm cards, posters; working with people to reach out and involve their networks; phone-banking to supporters and contacts of the Revolution Club; and street fundraising as well as canvassing. In everything, there is the key element of people being brought into what the fundraising is for (on the level of the Chicago project, the whole revolution, and the particular immediate needs) and being able to take that out to others. To help with this, we developed a basic fundraising call and made it into a palm card that people can read and take out to others and has the ways to donate online and in person.

Events and Projects

So far, we have held two fundraising events at the Revolution Club Organizing Center and we are beginning to meet with musicians and other contacts to work on at least two more events at other locations. The fundraising events at the center have not raised large amounts of money, but they have raised some and they’ve been important in many ways. The first event raised $180 and the second event raised $106, including $40 for a beautiful hooded scarf that was crocheted by a Revolution Club supporter and donated to sell as a fundraiser.

The first event was a celebration and benefit party in November that included a ceremony recognizing and honoring new members joining the Revolution Club. In addition to the money donated, a lot of people donated food and drinks, including by some of the local businesses near the center. At that party, there was a real sense of a community of people coming together around making revolution. People joining the club brought their friends and loved ones with them to be part of this. The focus of the program and the ceremony was the Points of Attention for the Revolution, and one person commented after the program that she was inspired by the Points of Attention and another said he was struck by how this movement is for humanity, it is not selfish.

The second fundraising event was a Future People Open Mic. We decided to do this after a discussion with people in the Revolution Club about fundraising and a couple of members proposed doing an open mic as a fundraiser. We talked together about what it should be and how to do it: an open mic called Future People that is guided by and popularizing the Points of Attention for the Revolution, a cultural event that is part of what it looks like to fight for a radically new and better world, an event that puts the needs for funds out broadly and involves people in donating and raising funds for the Revolution Club.

To build for the open mic we reached out to strategic sections of people, including going out to several high schools as well as poetry and art events and other significant events. At the high schools we took the large banner we made in support of the immigrant caravan that all kinds of people have been signing. We laid out the banner and we spoke over a bullhorn about future people fighting for a world without borders, for equality of women and men and differently gendered people, for the emancipation of humanity and not for revenge. A number of students came up to put messages on the banner and were interested to hear about the open mic and what the Revolution Club is about and doing.

At the schools and at the poetry and art events we passed out flyers for the open mic that had the Points of Attention for the Revolution on the back and this was attractive to some of the people seriously checking this all out. At one event in a progressive suburb, people were gathered to hear a talk about the segregation in Chicago and the decimation of the public schools. We went with the open mic flyer and also passed out a pamphlet of the important and timely article, “Question: What Do You Do With a System That Gives No Future to Millions of Black and Latino Youth; Whose Police Brutalize, Lock Them Up and Even Kill Them in Cold Blood, and Then Covers It Up? Answer: Overthrow It.” At everything we went to, we went together in Revolution Nothing Less T-shirts and represented in a way that it was clear we were presenting as an organized force—and this was definitely part of how people engaged and related to us and drew some who seem to be looking for how to make radical change.

The open mic itself was not that well attended, but some who came indicated that word of the open mic had gotten out beyond the usual circles. There were also good and powerful performances. One young woman who performed had found about it a couple days before when she met the Revolution Club team at an outing where we had displayed the new posters of the faces of people killed by Chicago police. Her brother was murdered by police in 2010 and she brought a picture of him to the open mic and dedicated one of her poems to him and to everyone killed by police. Another person who performed is an ex-prisoner who met the Revolution Club a few months ago and has been part of spreading the word about the revolution in various ways. He wrote a “revolutionary poem” for the open mic and ended it with ripping up a U.S. flag. A number of members of the Revolution Club performed poetry or read quotes from BAsics, the book of quotations from Bob Avakian that is the handbook of the revolution. One Revolution Club member performed a poem inspired by the battle to defeat the legal charges against Maya, who is outrageously facing seven years in prison for doing a silent protest for immigrants. After the open mic people danced and talked together and one person got a copy of BAsics which she started reading on the spot, while another picked up a copy of the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. A number of people took stacks of the fundraising palm card with them when they left, to pass out in places they go and among people they know.

Other Ways People Are Contributing and Fundraising

Other significant contributions to the winter fund drive so far are: a supporter crocheting and donating scarves, caps, and bags to sell for funds to support the Revolution Club; and another supporter—a doctor who herself has donated $2,000 in the last year—writing a fundraising letter and beginning to get it out to her networks. A musician is working to pull together some other artists for a meet-and-greet with the Revolution Club where we’ll develop further plans together for one or more fundraising events. A couple members of the Revolution Club are working with another musician to put together a punk show fundraiser in February. These are all important developments, even while they all need to be followed through on and the whole effort needs to grow to involve exponentially more people.

 

Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution

A speech by Bob Avakian
In two parts:

 

Watch it, spread it, fund it

Find out more about this speech—and get organized to spread it

Download, print and spread the word with this Revolution Club Chicago fund raising palm card (PDF—two-sided).

Donate

for the costs of Revolution Club Chicago’s legal defenses and challenges HERE

Donate

to support the work of the Revolution Club Chicago HERE

November 2018
A Tale of Two Cities, and the Need for Revolution

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I want you to get to know, and to donate generously to the Revolution Club, Chicago, the “Rev Club Chi.” I had the pleasure and the honor to meet them and to do some revolutionary work with them on a recent trip to Chicago.

Read more.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/547/commitment-and-process-of-building-movement-for-revolution-en.html

Revolution #576 December 31, 2018

Commitment and the Process of Building a Movement FOR Revolution

June 11, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

People need to be serious in whatever commitments they make—they need to follow through on such commitments—and we should set and struggle for this to be the standard and the actual reality. But getting involved in the movement for an actual revolution has a specific dynamic that differs, say, from joining a sports team or a music group. We should not demand “zero to sixty” right away—or, in any case, try to force a leap, rather than winning people to it as part of an overall revolutionary process. What we need to be building is a continually developing mass movement for revolution—yes, an actual revolution—with a vibrant “Ohio,”* through which exponentially growing numbers of people can be actively involved and continue to advance (not all, but many of them) through the dialectical interplay of contributing and learning in continually increasing dimensions. As for those who do reach the “advanced end” of this “Ohio,” again this raises the question of their becoming not only part of the Revolution Club but also making the further leap to becoming part of the communist vanguard; but here again as well, the question of commitment should not be approached (even if in a somewhat “backhanded” way) from the negative, defensive position that amounts to: “We have had people make commitments and then not keep them, and then disappear (‘ghost’) on us; so we are going to make sure you don’t (can’t) do that!” Rather, we should proceed with the recognition that commitment, while it involves and requires (repeated) leaps along the way, essentially corresponds to and is grounded in what aspirations have been awakened, or brought forward, in people, and what they are coming to understand is required in relation to that. So, again, while we do need to have a serious attitude with regard to people making and carrying through on commitments, this must be commensurate with what their understanding and sentiments are at a given point, and most essentially must be in the context of and contribute to the broader mass revolutionary movement that they are part of (or becoming part of) and, while not involving any tailing, should proceed from what they themselves have been won (yes, won through struggle, even at times sharp struggle) to see as a necessary and essential contribution to the revolution.

 

* The “Ohio” refers to the Ohio State marching band’s practice of marching in such a way as to spell out “OHIO” when viewed from above; in this process, band members who begin the first O, then move through the other letters of the word until they are at the last “O”. The point is that there is an analogous process involved in building any kind of progressive or revolutionary movement, in which people “move through” various levels of understanding and commitment, though this is not (“in the real world”) quite so linear and in lockstep as the Ohio State marching band!*

 

 

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/576/bob-avakian-you-cant-change-the-world-if-you-dont-know-the-basics-11-en.html

Revolution #576 December 31, 2018

You Can’t Change the World If You Don’t Know the BAsics

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

 

Every week, Revolution features quotes from BAsics, by Bob Avakian, the handbook for revolution. We encourage Revolution Clubs and other readers, everywhere, to take the time to discuss these quotes—the whole quotes—and to write us at revolution.reports@ yahoo.com with accounts of these discussions, or thoughts provoked in yourself by reading the quotes.

 

Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

"You can't change the world if you don't know the BAsics."

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian is a book of quotations and short essays that speaks powerfully to questions of revolution and human emancipation.

Order the book or download the book in ePub format HERE

 

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Revolution #576 December 31, 2018

From RefuseFascism.org

Stop the Persecution and Drop the Charges Against Refuse Fascism Activists!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Twelve members of Refuse Fascism face criminal charges and up to seven years in prison for non-violent political protest. Their cases which have yet to come to trial reveal a continuing pattern of coordinated governmental political surveillance, targeting, and persecution against Refuse Fascism. The political demand to Stop the Persecution and Drop the Charges Against Refuse Fascism Activists is part and parcel of the fight to stop the danger that the Trump/Pence regime presents to humanity.

Weeks before the Trump/Pence regime was sworn into power in 2017, RefuseFascism.org launched a national movement with the declaration: In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America! RefuseFascism.org continues to stand out for recognizing that: “Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ is a 21st century fascist program of Manifest Destiny—‘America First’—wrapped in the flag and Mike Pence’s Bible taken literally, with a program of white supremacy, misogyny, and xenophobia.”

For over two years, RefuseFascism.org (RF) has worked tirelessly to arouse the millions in this country who hate and fear what this regime is doing to break out of politics-as-usual—organizing people and organizations from a diverse range of political views behind the single unifying demand: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! To accomplish this goal, which is necessary to prevent the further and full consolidation of a fascist form of rule, also requires breaking out of protest-as-usual—organizing a movement to launch sustained non violent protest across the country that begins with many thousands and grows day after day to soon include hundreds of thousands and eventually millions of people who do not stop, creating a political situation where the demand that the whole illegitimate regime is removed from power.

To this end, RF’s iconic “NO!” posters have been ubiquitous at protests and beyond. Recognizing that the whole regime is the problem—Pence as well as Trump—and that the problem is not a single policy or outrage, but the whole fascist program and direction, RF activists have repeatedly put their bodies on the line to politically confront representatives of the regime and to challenge others to join the fight to drive out the regime. The analysis and courageous actions of members of RF—including nationwide protests in over 20 cities in November of 2017, which attempted to launch the sustained and growing outpourings to drive the regime from power, have challenged, inspired and strengthened people’s resistance to this regime across the country and around the world.

For this, RF has been hounded by fascists of many stripes. Early on, for example, fascists doxxed (systematically tracked down and published personal details of) thousands of people who signed RF’s initial Call to Action published as an ad in the New York Times and Washington Post, opening them up to fascist harassment. Later, influential fascist media (Alex Jones and many others) spent weeks pumping out dangerous lies about Refuse Fascism’s call for protest on November 4, 2017, provoking countless threats and hundreds of armed fascists showing up to threaten and intimidate RF protesters.

RefuseFascism.org has also been hit with heavy political repression from the state.

Twelve members of Refuse Fascism, some of whom are also members of the Revolution Club, currently face criminal charges and up to seven years in prison for engaging in nonviolent political protest.

For 11 of these individuals, charges stem from two separate nonviolent civil disobedience actions which blocked traffic on the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles, and from nonviolent speech during an appearance of Steve Mnuchin at UCLA. Viral video of these different protests has been seen by millions (LA freeway protests here and here; Mnuchin protest here, here, and here). For many months—in some cases for nearly a full year—these activists were not charged with any crime at all. Then suddenly, within just a few weeks and just before the clock ran out on the time frame to indict, the LA city attorney hit activists from these different protests—which took place months apart—with heavy criminal charges. Key leaders were charged for actions they either hadn’t been arrested for or hadn’t even taken part in!

It has further come to light that the Los Angeles Police Department sent a police informant into Refuse Fascism who surreptitiously and illegally recorded activists. UCLA police systematically surveilled and filmed members of the Revolution Club for weeks leading up to the brutal arrests of their members on February 26, 2018.

For the other individual, Maya, charges stem from an arrest that took place after she had finished a nonviolent silent protest which lasted just 11 minutes—for 11 million undocumented immigrants—at the University of Chicago. Chicago police brutalized and arrested this activist as she was leaving the campus and now she faces up to seven years in prison!

The arrests and legal persecution of these 12 freedom fighters are unjust and illegitimate. With a fascist regime in power, tearing up what are supposed to be protected civil and legal rights, and ruling through increasingly open terror and violence, these protests were needed and they were right. They were meaningful forms of nonviolent civil disobedience and, on a changing political and legal ground, forms of what is supposed to be protected speech!

As longtime American-Salvadoran and immigrant rights activist Isabel Cardenas has written: “If more Germans and Jews in Nazi Germany had done what these defendants have done (and are doing), millions of lives could have been saved. This country needs people such as those who have been criminally charged so that those who have no voice may have someone with the courage to defend them. They are striving to save us all from THE TRUMP-PENCE NIGHTMARE so that we—billions of us on the planet earth, including millions of Immigrants who helped to build this country—may stop enduring the madness that goes on in the White House.”

The political persecution of these freedom fighters involves an escalation of the criminalization of political protests and a leap in state repression, which is a key element of the very fascism these activists are fighting.

We call on everyone who values the right to speak critically of the government and to mobilize political protest aimed at stopping the nightmare of the Trump/Pence regime to join in demanding: STOP THE POLITICAL PERSECUTION AND DROP THE CHARGES AGAINST REFUSE FASCISM ACTIVISTS!

We further call on everyone to heed the challenge and example of these courageous activists and join the movement to drive out the fascist Trump/Pence regime regime.


Free the LA 11!


Free Maya!


Four Noteworthy Facts about the Freeway Protests:

[1] Los Angeles authorities waited almost a year to press charges. When eight activists were arrested during the two separate civil disobedience actions on the 101 freeway in September and November of 2017, the LA city attorney declined to press charges. Eleven months later, just before the deadline to file charges, the city attorney charged these activists with obstruction of free movement, failure to disperse and failure to comply with police. If convicted, they face as many as three years in jail and $2,000 in fines.

[2] The city additionally charged two RF leaders with “conspiracy,” then later indicated they intend to drop this charge in order to conceal the extent of their political spying. In late July/early August 2018, the LA city attorney singled out two leaders of RefuseFascism LA—USC Professor Perry Hoberman and Michelle Xai, LA Refuse Fascism leader—for charges of conspiracy. Michelle Xai hadn’t even been on the freeway or arrested during either of the actions! Michelle is also charged with two counts of obstruction of movement. Revealingly, in December 2018, the LA city attorney indicated they intend to drop these conspiracy charges to avoid complying with a judge’s order to disclose the identity of their “confidential informant” and turn over the actual audio recordings made by the informant.

[3] The LAPD secretly spied on Refuse Fascism and an informant illegally recorded activists. In an act of politically motivated state repression, the LAPD’s “Major/Crimes/Anti-Terrorism Division” sent a confidential informant into Refuse Fascism to surreptitiously and illegally record private conversations and meetings on at least four occasions. In California, it is illegal to record someone without their consent!

[4] Even the DA’s office admits that the First Amendment is involved in this case. The detective writing the police report admits to having consulted with the district attorney with a request to file felony conspiracy charges (vs. misdemeanors, which they are facing). The DA said that felony charges would be “contrary to the spirit of the law where First Amendment freedoms are concerned.” So how are misdemeanor charges any less “contrary” to their First Amendment rights?!


Six Noteworthy Facts about the UCLA Arrests:

[1] The University of California Police Department (UCPD) at UCLA singled out Refuse Fascism and Revolution Club activists. On February 26, 2018, as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin spoke at UCLA, many people protested, booed, and hissed. When three women from Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club raised their voices as part of this medley of protest, UCLA police brutally dragged them out of the hall and arrested them. (Video of this went viral here, here, and here). Two others with Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club were arrested outside the hall for agitating and calling attention to arrests that were taking place inside. All five arrestees were told they’re banned from campus, including a student and an alum—but this “ban” was never put in writing and there was no means to challenge it.

[2] UCPD arbitrarily arrested a UCLA student a second time for violating their illegitimate ban. Tala Deloria, the first arrested inside the Mnuchin event, publicly violated the illegitimate ban while issuing a video challenge to Mnuchin to debate. She and others who had been arrested and “banned,” also participated in 11 minutes of silence for 11 million undocumented immigrants on campus. At neither time was anyone arrested. Then, a few days later at public event on campus, UCLA police arrested Tala and another activist, this time for violating the “ban.”

[3] Tala Deloria and another activist, a UCLA alum, who had also been arrested during the Mnuchin protest learned seven months later that they faced an additional charge for their participation in 11 minutes of silence on campus for 11 million undocumented immigrants, even though they hadn’t been arrested at this second protest.

[4] In less than one month, these five activists were arrested or charged for participating in four nonviolent protests and for standing in line for an event. They face a total of 13 charges, including: disturbing the peace, trespass, resisting arrest and breaking the “ban” from campus. Tala alone faces five charges and, if convicted, could get nearly three years in jail and $3,400 in fines.

[5] Members of Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club have been subjected to massive, highly intrusive video surveillance by UCLA police that includes videos of where they are engaged in legal, non-violent political activity—talking to and organizing students, getting into and out of cars—along with written reports. Police reports reveal that police followed these activists as they walked to and from campus and noted the descriptions and license plate numbers of cars they got into.

[6] All the way across the country in Washington, DC, two other members of Refuse Fascism were arrested for reading Tala Delorias’s challenge to debate out loud in front of the office building where Mnuchin works. These activists were detained for over 24 hours. The Department of Homeland Security sent agents to the homes of the activists’ parents across the country to ask about their daughters’ political views and involvement with RF. Neither women were minors and there was no legitimate reason for authorities to contact their parents, much less visit their homes.


Three Noteworthy Facts About the Arrest of Maya (Diya Cruz) at University of Chicago:

[1] The arrest stemmed from 11 minutes of silent nonviolent protest. On March 1, 2018, Maya (Diya Cruz), together with three other members of the Revolution Club, walked into the University of Chicago student center and held up sheets of paper announcing 11 minutes of silence for 11 million undocumented immigrants and stood silently for 11 minutes. Many in the dining hall joined in.

[2] The police attacked and brutalized Maya, then charged her with assault. Maya faces seven years in prison. After 11 minutes, the Revolution Club thanked all who participated and headed towards the exit, where they were stopped by police who at first prevented them from leaving, demanding identification, and then said they could go. Out of nowhere, the police attacked Maya, grabbing her roughly, arresting her, dragging her down the stairs and out of the building. She has been charged with two felony counts of assault, which carry seven years in prison for this SILENT protest. She is also banned from the U of Chicago campus.

[3] The court proceedings against Maya have not been “routine.” At what should have been a routine bail hearing, the prosecutor arrived with a lengthy, distorted, and utterly irrelevant political dossier on Maya, portraying her as dangerous and undeserving of bail—on the basis of her alleged political views, associations, and the fact that police have previously attempted to suppress her while she was engaged in lawful speech. At one hearing, the judge made it a condition of Maya’s bond that she couldn’t raise her fist in his courtroom. When, as they were leaving, Maya’s supporters raised their fists the judge threatened them with jail for “contempt of court.” At another hearing, the prosecution almost got Maya’s bail revoked for another mass harassment arrest of the Revolution Club, this one at the People’s Puerto Rican Day parade, in which Maya was also bogusly arrested.

RefuseFascism.org is a movement of people coming from diverse perspectives, united in the recognition that the Trump/Pence Regime poses a catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet, and that it is our responsibility to drive them from power through non-violent protests that grow every day until our demand is met.

Go to RefuseFascism.org to learn more and find out how to participate.

November 21, 2017: LA 101 Freeway

The next major court dates:

January 10: All the UCLA defendants must appear in court. Defendants expect prosecutors to turn over discovery (police reports, any informants, etc.).

January 15: Michelle Xai and Perry Hoberman must appear in court for the freeway cases. The LA city attorney is expected to formally drop the conspiracy charges against both of them. They will still be facing other charges.

January 22: Maya must appear in Cook County criminal court, 2650 S. California Avenue (corner of West 26th Street), Chicago, Illinois. Room 207, at 9:30 am.

Maya (center, with “NO!” shirt) is facing seven years in prison for participating in this silent protest in solidarity with the 11 million immigrants targeted by the Trump/Pence regime.

Free Maya!

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to support the work of the Revolution Club Chicago HERE

 

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Revolution #576 December 31, 2018

When the American Hitler and His War Criminal Defense Chief Battle It Out...
Do We Have a (Mad) Dog in Their Fight?

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A war criminal and a fascist walk into an oval office... this could be the beginning of a joke, but the consequences for humanity are anything but.

Trump and his regime’s raison d’être—the reason that they are in power—is to upend what have been the prevailing norms of how the most powerful country in history is ruled and how it enforces and extends its imperialist domination of the world. Over the last few months Trump has been plowing ahead with his fascist program in many ways, including clearing out opposition from within his regime.

General James “Mad Dog” Mattis’ resignation as Trump’s secretary of defense was unprecedented in that while still serving in the regime, he wrote a stinging rebuke that directly repudiated the Trump/Pence regime’s foreign policy. Mattis warned that what Trump is doing is dangerous to core U.S. (imperialist) interests. He is straight-up advocating that what has been U.S. policy of world domination since World War 2 is the best if not only way to extend and enforce that domination. Mattis, who represents a significant section of the U.S. “national security establishment,” wrote of being “clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors ... We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.”

Mattis tendered his resignation as of the end of February. Trump abruptly said, you’re gone by January 1. Such a serious split at the top of the ruling class, particularly when it concerns the essential element of government—the deployment of the armed forces—reveals extremely high stakes.

If you aspire to justice for the masses of people here and around the world, guess what? YOU, and your values, are not the WE of which Mattis speaks. At the same time, if and as this conflict sharpens, it could provide possible openings for important mass struggle from below to drive out the whole regime.

But NOT on terms in which huge sections of the so-called “progressive” movements and their pundits such as The Nation magazine, along with the Democratic Party and its mouthpieces such as the New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, etc., are dealing with this. They have fallen head over heels indoctrinating masses of people in the most craven American chauvinism, and this is extremely dangerous. It’s not as if Mattis earned the “affectionate” nickname of “Mad Dog” centuries ago. He directed war crimes in the Iraq War deploying the horrific chemical weapon white phosphorus to burn the flesh of Iraqi citizens in Fallujah in 2004. Joan Walsh wrote a lead piece in The Nation magazine that was nothing other than an appeal to scurry to Mattis’ defense—a disgusting call to what she sees as the “safer” foreign policy for those Americans who have been insulated up to now from the deadly impact of U.S. wars and foreign policy. She positively referred to the literal war criminal Mattis as a “lifelong military leader and public servant.” What we starkly see here is the complicity of a progressive strata with a war criminal who collaborated with and legitimatized a fascist (Trump) for two years, with the impact of numbing people and lining them up to support what has been the bloody mainstream of the U.S. ruling class.

What Mattis represents, and what he argues for in his resignation as Trump slams forward with his program, has been the dominant mode of bludgeoning the world to submit to U.S. dictates. This has been a program that combines brutal military slaughter with the threat of massive military capacity including nuclear devastation, covered over and facilitated by “multilateral” honeyed words of democracy and cooperation, with the forceful imposition of bourgeois democratic norms on the people of the world.

Trump is cutting the knot on that package. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” and “America First” are not just nostalgic slogans to satisfy a rabid base fearful of a world where their privilege is eroding... but concentrate a fascist program that is a response to the reality that the imperialist program that has held since WW2 is failing—with the longest war in U.S. history in Afghanistan an acknowledged disaster. The old world order has been increasingly racked with deepening problems, and the top dog, the U.S., has been losing its edge in a world system of imperialism.

The Trump/Pence regime’s foreign policy is at one and the same time radically reactionary and rooted in the uninterrupted world view and history of “Manifest Destiny,” a quasi-religious belief that America is divinely entitled to enslave, to destroy—including through genocide—to conquer and expand anywhere it deems its “interests” to be, without a shred of concern for other peoples or lands. Manifest Destiny, from its inception, has white supremacy as the thread running through it. This mission of world domination is not just historic, but runs right down to today, through both Democrats and Republicans, including the Afghanistan/Iraq wars of Bush and Obama, and Obama’s horrific wars in Libya and Yemen now carried forward by Trump—wars with genocidal impact that continue to crush in the most torturous ways millions of people, including millions of children.

Wake up! If you have an ounce of concern for the people of the world, face up to the reality that when Mattis speaks of “we,” the reality is that: WE are not THEY. We—in the interests of humanity—need a revolution to sweep aside this system. The time is now—when those on top of this system are deeply divided—to recognize the stakes for humanity, and to go to work and prepare and organize people for an actual revolution.

 

 

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Revolution #576 December 31, 2018

Holiday Special: Exclusive, Highly Condensed Edition of Michelle Obama’s Memoir Becoming

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

I was born into a community plundered, devastated, and tortured for generations, going back to hundreds of years of slavery, by the most murderous ruling class in the world, the U.S. capitalist-imperialists.

I learned the ropes of that system so well that I became the wife of its top enforcer. I lent him my “authenticity” when he blamed the masses for their own oppression and called them “thugs” when they rose up. I sanctified the military as it carried out its depredations worldwide. I modeled the role of “traditional wife and mother" (while balancing a career), planting a vegetable garden while this system bombed, imprisoned, and murdered children all over the world.

And for those who don’t like this system but don’t want to fully confront what it really does and must do, I served—and still serve—as a screen on which they can project their illusions.

The End

A clip from BA Speaks: 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. Watch the whole film and other selected clips at RevolutionTalk.net

 

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