Category Archives: Iraq

The Amerikkkan electorate: militarist and chauvinist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Amerikkkan electorate: militarist and chauvinist

raims.wordpress.com

U$ imperialists, of both parties, appeal to the chauvinism and militarism of the Amerikans this election cycle. Then again, our readers will be asking by now, “What’s new?” For the past couple years, talking heads and ideologues from both of the main partisan wings of the US system have been rallying their respective “bases” in preparation for the contentious midterm elections. In just the past few weeks, the imperialist media had been inundated with political ads and substanceless, vitriolic rhetoric.

On the Republican side, their Amerikan grassroots “Tea Party” movement has whipped up a white chauvinist frenzy right in time to derail the “Obama phenomenon.” In the midst of this racist uprising by the recently dispossessed Amerikan settler white nation, the favorite target has been migrant labor from Mexico. The most egregious example of the consequences of this radical reaction is the “Papers, please” legislation in Arizona, on Mexican land stolen by Amerika no less! (1) Fast forward over 160 years later, and over 70% of Amerikan are in favor of some similar draconian and fascist legislation. (2) Another side-effect was the recent inflammation of Amerikan chauvinism against Islam in general, which had exceeded levels beyond anything seen during the Bush era. (3)

On the Democratic side, the Obama-lovers are attempting to paint the Republicans as “shipping Amerikan jobs overseas.” (4) This thinly-veiled “pro-labor” racism serves to merely shift the chauvinism of Amerikans towards Latinos, to chauvinism directed towards Asians. To pile onto this chauvinism, the White House itself is attempting to paint their GOP opponents with the “Chinese money” campaign corruption card. (5) As if US imperialism hasn’t attempted to influence political processes by whatever means, monetarily or militarily, worldwide.

The two political parties of US imperialism aren’t just battling over who Amerikans should be more chauvinist against. They are also battling for Amerikan public opinion over which Muslim-majority country to invade and occupy. The Republicans’ latest superstars have been some the most fervent Zionists, with a warmonger’s eye towards toppling the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Democrats’ “common-sense” militarism has its eyes toward continuing the existing occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan in a “non-direct, supervisory form,” as well as continuing the incursions into Pakistan. Long gone are the anti-war voices from the political spectrum, from either “libertarian” Republicans or “progressive” Democrats. One Tea Party-backed congressional candidate in North Carolina includes a US pig soldier suspected of killing two unarmed civilians in Iraq. (6) On the other side, Democrats in Washington State appeal to the votes of “workers” from Boeing, a major imperialist arms manufacturer. One such political ad, from a Democrat no less, makes a simultaneously chauvinist and militarist appeal to Boeing workers. The ad says, in essence, that Amerikans should continue to be paid handsomely for building and maintaining the imperialist war machine. (7)

What else is new with politics in the US empire? Certainly not the brain dead response of the First World so-called “left” to Amerikan elections. The constant meme coming from them states that the top two imperialist parties don’t really represent the “will of the [Amerikan] people.” The supposition here is that the Amerikan so-called “masses” are inherently progressive (if not “revolutionary”) in their majority. (8) Nothing could be further from the truth. One question for our First Worldists: If Amerikans are so inherently “progressive,” why do the two top imperialist parties pour billions of dollars into filling their airwaves with this chauvinism and militarism? (9)

A “democracy” that does not represent the will of the world’s oppressed and exploited majority is not democratic in any real sense. Bourgeois democracy in the First World seeks to affirm the unity of the imperialist populations against the global majority. RAIM struggles for a world where the needs and will of the global popular majority, who make less than $2.50 a day, are placed first per the democratic principle of “majority rules.” (10) To create a truly democratic society, the world must be turned upside down.

Notes:

1. http://antiimperialism.wordpress.com/2010/10/14/long-live-mexico-in-commemoration-of-the-100th-year-anniversary-of-the-mexican-revolution/

2. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/05/12/94050/most-americans-approve-of-arizonas.html

3. http://www.lewrockwell.com/margolis/margolis201.html

4. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2013264531_bruce27.html

5. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/ap/china-bashing-is-bipartisan-in-us-races-106366768.html

6. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/gop-candidate-killed-unarmed-iraqi/

7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyk3QLaX2nQ

8. http://revcom.us/Constitution/constitution.html

9. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/us-politics/8093993/US-midterm-elections-2010-Campaign-spending-set-to-reach-2.5-billion.html

10. http://raims.wordpress.com/2010/10/01/the-anti-kolumbus-day-manifesto/

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Obama sends US Special Operations Forces to 75 countries, up from 60 last year

Obama sends US Special Operations Forces to 75 countries, up from 60 last year

(www.raimd.wordpress.com)

The US Special Operations Forces, or Green Berets, are operating in 75 countries around the world, up 25% from last year. Under the Obama administration, special ops forces have been sent to Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Ukraine, Bolivia, Peru, Turkey, the Philippines, Columbia and Paraguay, among many others. Of the 13,000 Special Operations forces worldwide, 9,000 are split between Iraq and Afghanistan. [1,2]

Obama was and still is perceived by many to be fundamentally different than George W. Bush. This only reveals how widespread gullibility and self-serving ignorance are.  Under Obama, the number of US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan jumped to 189,000 at end of 2009, up from Bush’s high of 186,000. Aerial bombings by US-operated drones have increased under Obama. Obama additionally employs an ‘Intelligence Community’ of 200,000 at a cost of 75 billion dollars annually. [3,4]

The United States is, regardless of its individual leadership, the greatest menace to humanity today. There is no force which plays a larger policing or military role worldwide. There is no force which drops as many bombs, invades as many countries, trains as many armed forces and spies on as many dissidents.

While US imperialism and its goons may appear strong, this is not necessarily the case. The real strength lies with the people, the masses of the Third World which make up the broad majority humanity. United under common interest, for peace, freedom and equality, and without illusions about the antagonistic nature of imperialism, the world’s masses can defeat reactionaries and lay the foundation for a better future.

[1] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/03/AR2010060304965_pf.html

[2] http://www.alternet.org/world/147104/obama_is_secretly_deploying_elite_u.s._forces_to_countries_across_the_globe

[3] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/12/AR2009101203142_2.html

[4] http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2009/09/dni091509-m.pdf

Obama sends US Special Operation Forces to 75 countries, up from 60 from last yearThe US Special Operations Forces, or Green Berets, are operating in 75 countries around the world, up 25% from last year. Under the Obama administration, special ops forces have been sent to Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Ukraine, Bolivia, Peru, Turkey, the Philippines, Columbia and Paraguay, among many others. Of the 13,000 Special Operations forces worldwide, 9,000 are split evenly between Iraq and Afghanistan. [1,2]Obama was and still is perceived by many to be fundamentally different than George W. Bush. This however only reveals how widespread gullibly and self-serving ignorance are. By the end of 2009, under Obama, the number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan jumped from Bush’s high of 186,000 to 189,000. Aerial bombings from US-operated drones have increased under Obama. While the exact numbers are unknown, Obama additionally employs an ‘Intelligence Community’ of 200,000 at a cost of $75,000. [3,4]The United States is, regardless of its individual leadership, the greatest menace to humanity today. There is no force which plays a larger policing or military role worldwide. There is no force which drops as many bombs, invades as many countries, trains as many armed forces and spies on as many dissidents.

While the US imperialism and its goons may appear strong, this is not necessarily the case. The real strength lies with the people, the masses of the Third World which make up a broad majority humanity. United under common interest, for peace, freedom and equality, and without illusions about the antagonistic nature of imperialism, the world’s masses can defeat reactionaries and lay the foundation for a new, better world.

[1] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/03/AR2010060304965_pf.html

[2] http://www.alternet.org/world/147104/obama_is_secretly_deploying_elite_u.s._forces_to_countries_across_the_globe

[3] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/12/AR2009101203142_2.html

[4] http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2009/09/dni091509-m.pdf

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Program of the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement

We want to smash this world and build a new one. Today, the median global income stands around $2.50 a day. Over 1 billion people face chronic hunger and a child dies every five seconds of starvation. This same situation is killing the planet at an unprecedented rate. Meanwhile, a global minority lives in comfort, unconcerned with their effect on the world. We aim to change this.

We understand that there is a causal relationship between wealth on one hand and poverty on the other. On a global level, the First World is rich because it exploits the impoverished majority, the Third World. This global divide, called imperialism, is the principal feature of the world today.

We side with the Third World masses and support their struggles for liberation. Exploiters are not going to hand over freedom to those they exploit. Only through struggle can the oppressed free themselves. We support the right of resistance- and revolution- for oppressed peoples against their oppressors. We support unity of the Third World masses against imperialism.

We reject First Worldism: politics which panders to or assumes that First Worlders are a social base for revolution. The “masses” of the First World are a global minority: a petty-exploiter class which regularly supports the imperialist system from which it benefits. Global revolution demands a just and egalitarian distribution of the world’s resources and wealth. Thus, over the course of global revolution, First Worlders will receive less, not more.

We are John Browns, staunch First World allies of the Third World. We are few and far between and behind enemy lines; there is little direct effect we can have. We consider our circumstances and focus on areas where we can effectively contribute to the revolutionary struggle.

We openly represent revolutionary anti-imperialism and work to build public opinion for Third World liberation struggles. We interject revolutionary, anti-imperialist politics into political arenas such as speaking events and protests; contribute to publishing and distributing revolutionary literature such as the RAIM Global Digest; and conduct group education through study collectives, practical tasks and informal discussion. We seek out and educate those who can be won over to consistent anti-imperialist politics.

We encourage direct participation and involvement, promote personal development and push people to become more valuable to the larger, global revolutionary movement. In part, RAIM is a ‘university of revolution.’ Through direct involvement with RAIM, we encourage people to become more proficient both politically and technically. A large part of RAIM’s purpose is to make individuals more of an asset to the Third World majority.

We encourage Third World-oriented, revolutionary political work. Though RAIM fills a roll by providing a public presence for and entry-level work into revolutionary politics, it is not the end-all-be-all of revolutionary political work. We encourage and support revolutionary, Third World-oriented politics being applied as part of different types of projects and efforts.

-Adopted by RAIM-Denver and RAIM-Seattle, November 23rd, 2009

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Fuck The Troops II: Some People Push Back

The long-awaited sequel to Fuck The Troops is finally here:

 

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Obama: more troops, more imperialism, more of the same

barack-obama-greets-troop-001

Obama: more troops, more imperialism, more of the same

(raimd.wordpress.com)

The election of Barack Obama as president was promised as bringing a different direction to U.S. foreign policy.  But as recent news shows, Obama will continue U.S. imperialist policies, for one by increasing the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.  In the beginning of his term this year he kept on Bush family crony Robert M. Gates as Secretary of “Defense.”  Gates announced recently the Amerikan military will increase the number of overall troops in service for these new imperialist wars.  Contributing to this increase are the Amerikan people, looking for jobs in the faltering economy, taking on military positions.

On Monday July 20 “Defense” Secretary Gates announced a “temporary” increase of the size of the army up to 22,000 troops.  This increase is to meet the “persistent pace” of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Gates (1).

The increase is to occur over three years. In the end, the size of the army will increase to 569,000 active duty soldiers.  Previously, in 2007, Gates had given a goal of an expansion to 547,000 soldiers. This previous target was reached in May.

There are currently 130,000 Amerikan troops in Iraq, not including mercenaries and contractors. Also, by the end of 2009, there will be 68,000 troops in Afghanistan.  Obama’s promised removal of troops from Iraq has been carried out at a snail’s pace, at best. This removal is really a shift, or “phased redeployment,” of more troops from Iraq into Afghanistan. Obama is not pulling back Amerikan Empire, so much as shifting its focus.  In fact, only combat forces will be withdrawn from Iraq by August 2010, and other troops will be scheduled to remain at least until December 2011 (2).  Most withdrawals are not even scheduled until March 2010. In fact there have been no troop withdrawals since Obama came into office. In addition, Gates expressed concern that future U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan would not have enough boots on the ground.  Military advisors and senators are advocating more troops be sent to Afghanistan than originally planned (3).

Some have pointed to some of Obama’s policies, like the defunding of the F-22 fighter program, as a sign of Obama’s dovish credentials. However, the defunding of this single program happened in the larger context of increasing the size of the military, including increasing funding for other fighter jets (4).

Obama, Another Side of the Coin

Despite what Amerikan pseudo-leftists say, to the world’s majority it does not matter who would have become U.S. president.  The United Snakes continues its tradition of militaristic policies.  All Obama changed was perception.  Amerikan public opinion tired of the war in Iraq not for any principled anti-imperialist reasons but because the war was becoming too costly; in Amerikan money, Amerikan lives, and to Amerika’s global image.  This last one was a key, for under Bush world opinion of the U.S. was lower than at any point in history. The jingoistic superpatriotism represented by McCain-Palin carried less appeal as the U.S. was being wound down in the resistance in Iraq.  Obama came along to shift world opinion of Amerika to a more positive view.  Amerikans also felt better in their relationship to the world under Obama, even though there has been no change to the foreign policies that enrich all Amerikans.  With a more positive world opinion, Amerikans are more willing now to embrace Amerikan imperialism, even joining its military to defend it.

Reasons For the Increase of Volunteer Troops

The New York Times also notes that the Pentagon, without the aid of conscription, will increase the size of its army by traditional means of recruiting and retention.  Since the advent of the all-volunteer armed forces over 30 years ago the military has relied on recruiting to fill its ranks.  Most have to be actively recruited.

The Iraq War made military service during a sustained military conflict unpopular.  The military could no longer count on those enlisting for easy college money or signing bonuses, obtained without leaving their bases and incurring risk (5).  Even the National Guard, with less commitment, suffered unmet recruiting goals (6). Recruiters talked about having “rolled doughnuts,” slang for going an entire month without recruiting anyone.

Also, antiwar activists, dealing with an all-volunteer army, took on the strategy of counter-recruitment to symbolically hurt the war effort. It met with mixed success in deterring some young people from the military (7), with many students removing their names from military recruiting lists that schools are required to give (8).  Military recruiters became more aggressive in their efforts.  But the recent recession has helped enlistment and re-enlistment.

In mentioning Gates’ proposed increase of troops this year, the New York Times also mentions that recruitment has been aided by those looking for a job in the recession, and troops reenlisting beyond their scheduled terms due to the job market.  Another source says military recruitment was up 9 percent from 2008, and potential soldiers are including not only those out of high school but those with bachelors and master degrees, looking for a steady paycheck without fears of layoffs (9).

Overall, the opposition to the Iraq War in the U.S. increased not because of any principled opposition to its military committing atrocities for profit, but because it was seen as too costly and unwinnable for Amerikans.  Even with the global recession Amerikans are still better off than the great majority of the world.  They still willingly join its military to further imperialist aggression in order to objectively keep their privileged position in the world.

The U.S. is the principal global empire. It must assert itself militarily around the globe.  To do this, it needs warm bodies for its never ending military adventures. Since 1900 the U.S. has continuously engaged in military confrontations of some kind or other nearly every year since. This will continue to be the case for the next hundred years, or until U.S. imperialism is defeated.

Domestic opposition will not stop aggression against the Third World. The liberal anti-war movement came to a halt with the end of the Bush administration. Most in the anti-war movement swallowed Obama’s lies. Progressives in the U.S. are deluding themselves if they still think the Obama administration will initiate major changes in U.S. foreign policy.

The masses of the Third World are also deluded, if they buy into Obama’s reinvention of Amerika. After all, recent polls show that Obama has improved the image of the U.S. in the Third World. The reality is that Obama and Bush are just two sides of the same imperialist coin. Given the promise of a paycheck Amerikans in their self-interest will help in the effort to expand the war machine. Amerikans have a material interest in maintaining imperialism. They are the ones who benefit, after all.  The masses of the world should not rely on opposition inside Amerika to stop imperialist wars.  If imperialism is to be smashed, then it will be the Third World masses who wield the hammer.  If First-Worlders support humanity they will side with the Third World masses in this endeavor.

Sources:

(1). Bumiller, Elizabeth.  “Gates Says U.S. Army’s Size Will Grow by 22,000.”  New York Times.  July 20, 2009.  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/21/world/21military.html

(2). “With Pledges to Troops and Iraqis, Obama Details Pullout.”  New York Times.  February 27, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/28/washington/28troops.html

(3)  Bumiller, Elizabeth.  “With Boots in Iraq, Minds Drift to Afghanistan.”  New York Times.  July 31, 2009.  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/01/world/middleeast/01memo.html

(4).  Drew, Christopher.  “Obama Wins Crucial Senate Vote on F-22.”  New York Times.  July 21, 2009.    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/22/business/22defense.html

(5). Davey, Monica.  “Recruiters Try New Tactics to Sell Wartime Army.”  New York Times.  June 14. 2004.  p. 1, 8.

(6). Moniz, Dave.  “For Guard Recruiter, a Tough Sell.”  USA Today.  www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-03-07-recruits-cover_x.htm.  Accessed 3/8/2005.

(7). Some examples of earlier counter-recruitment strategies are here:  Weill-Greenberg, Elizabeth.  “Calling All Soldiers:  Military Recruiters Face Resistance From Young Anti-War Activists.”  New York Amsterdam News.  February 24, 2005.  Accessed from www.commondreams.org 3/8/2005; and Hampson, Rick.  “‘Counter-recruiters’ Shadowing the Military.” USA Today.  www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-03-07-counter-recruiters_x.htm.  Accessed 3/8/2005.

(8). “Students Want Off Recruiting Lists.”  Toward Freedom.  November 16, 2005.  http://towardfreedom.com/home/content/view/667/78/ Accessed 11/21/2005.

(9). “Slumping Economy Helping With Military Recruitment.” http://www.wjactv.com/news/20277281/detail.html

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Movie Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

GI_joe_2

Movie Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

https://raimd.wordpress.com

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is a Hollywood action movie packed with CGI-enhanced martial arts; explosions; sci-fi hi-tech weapons; chase scenes and topped off with near superhuman ‘good’ and ‘bad guys.’ Typical of Hollywood-type action movies, the plot centers around preventing the bad guys from attaining global dominance. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, like another summer blockbuster, Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, is one of many movies that promotes militarism and by extension imperialism.

The story opens with a weapons dealer, McCullen (later revealed as bad guy, Destro), showing off a new high-tech weapon, the Nanomite warhead. The weapon, loosely based on emerging technologies, is said to be able to destroy “any and all material in its path.” The first to procure this new weapon is the United States. The main protagonist, Duke, is charged with leading a NATO force to deliver four of the warheads. The audience is never challenged to ask why the U.S. wants or gets this weapon, let alone four of them, nor what would happen once it gets them. Instead the plot predictably begins when the warheads are stolen by the ‘bad guy’ Cobra force.

Unlike the G.I. Joe toys and cartoons, the new live-action G.I. Joe force is multinational, consisting of the “top men and women of the best  military units of the world.” Prior to the theft of the Nanomite warheads, it is unclear what purpose such an elite military force might serve. The two male protagonists who join the G.I. Joe force after the start of the movie, Duke and Ripchord, seem more interested in running around in suits which give them superhuman strength and speed than serving any humanitarian or even patriotic ends. At the beginning of the movie, Ripchord expresses interest in joining the U.S. Airforce simply so he can pilot military jets.

As the movie develops, the G.I. Joe force must stop the Cobra from destroying Washington D.C., Bejing and Moscow. The leader of the Cobra force is the Cobra Commander, a former friend of Duke’s who wants to use the Nanomite technology to attain global power. The Cobra Commander is aided by Destro the weapons dealer, a small army of mind-controlled fearless soldiers, and the Baroness, a former love interest of Duke’s who is also mind-controlled throughout most of the movie.

In the real world, where both high-tech weapons capable of small and vast destruction and various elite, multinational, sometimes private military units exist, bad guys like the Cobras don’t. In the real world, millions of people die from starvation and malnutrition, not violent conspiracies to usurp global power. The system responsible for these deaths, imperialism, also creates conditions whereby oppressors join the military for the ‘thrill’ of using destructive weapons, flying fast and blowing things up. However, these people are not heroes.

Today, in the real world, most state militaries and elite multinational  forces serve to maintain the imperialist system which starves millions. Taken out of the context of imperialism and global class systems, there is no need for elite military units. Action movies such as G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen create ridiculous fictional stories in which imperialist militaries are portrayed not as the protectors of global class structure, but as playing a positive role for humanity. ‘Ordinary,’ relatable characters such as Duke and Ripchord, who, in real life would play a mundane role in a profoundly awful system, are seen as both more significant and depoliticized: they’re “in the middle of the action” and supposedly saving the world. Amerikan and First World audiences, who are not routinely subjected to imperialist threats and aggression, might find themselves envious of such adventures and abilities. And whereas First World movie-goers, people who economically benefit from imperialist militarism, can’t join or cheer for the G.I. Joe force in real life, they conveniently can the U.S. military, NATO, Blackwater (now called Xe), the IDF and various other imperialist military organizations.

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The Farce of July

happy fourth

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