Imperialism: the invasion, occupation and conquering of sovereign nations by foreign powers for capitalist interests and profit.
Six Years of War
The sixth anniversary of the imperialist war has now passed. What gave the motivation to write this work was the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan by United States Coalition forces. The imperialist American government with George Bush and now with Barack Obama at the head preaches endlessly about “peace” and “human rights” while they ruthlessly invade and plunder other countries, slaughtering millions to feed the jaws of their American Empire and the businesses which form its blood. They talk of promoting “democracy” while they continue to carry on their wars of aggression against peaceful peoples. We can’t limit ourselves to simply “condemning” these horrendous acts: it is better to be able to explain them.
Protest and anger in itself may help the people endure their woes, but they do not help them understand their causes or struggle to get rid of them and prevent their reoccurrence. By explaining the reasons for the war we can help to motivate popular uprisings and resistance, eventually leading to a revolution, in order to see that such bloody events never occur again.
In the case of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, it is all the more important we understand why the war took place and what its interests are. The issue at hand is to judge what the United States, Britain and the UN have become today, since it was chiefly the U.S. and its “allies” which carried out this invasion. Over 1,000,000 people are now dead, and these are Iraqi people who have already suffered a U.S. starvation blockade that killed over 500,000, many of them children, as well as the regime of Saddam Hussein, a CIA puppet. Thousands of Iraqis are imprisoned, many of them tortured by American troops. Over 4,500 American soldiers have died.The unprovoked invasions of other nations in wars of aggression violate every kind of international law and common morality. President Obama has promised to withdraw a meager portion of the over 100,000 (at the time of this writing) troops stationed in Iraq, and then only over a period of three months, and then only to redeploy another 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. The working people must realize this is hardly “ending the war”; it is hardly even dialing it down. Even if all troops were pulled out tomorrow, the harm has been done—the destroyed nation is now under the thumb of international capital. Why has all this happened? What motivation do the American leaders have for these horrendous killings?
The answer is that this sort of aggression is not a recent development, but rather the logical conclusion of the capitalist system, and a repeat of what has been going on for centuries. Each year for the past 226 years, the US has been engaged in conflict somewhere in the world. Its state institutions, such as the CIA, have been responsible for setting up many bloody dictatorships throughout the world, including the ones of Mobutu, Park Chung-Hee, Suharto, Pinochet, the Shah of Iran—the list simply goes on. It has set up these oppressive military governments in order to make the work force and home markets of these countries were ripe for exploitation by American capitalism.In this age of economic instability and rising global tensions however, such “light” techniques such as setting up puppet governments are no longer enough to make sure that the hundreds of millions of people in African, Asian and Latin American nations stay firmly under the iron heel of capitalism. The imperialists have now resorted to outright occupation and open, declared warfare in violation of every law that the bourgeoisie themselves have claimed to uphold. Through the use of bloody violence, bombing, illegal weapons, networks of spies and now outright occupation, the US is trying, unsuccessfully, to crush any nations that threaten its desire for global conquest.
Just as the unprovoked wars of aggression against Haiti, Vietnam, Korea, Somalia, Libya and many others were waged chiefly to safeguard the interests of capitalism, so is the present war. After the September 11th attacks by former CIA asset Osama bin Laden, the U.S. undertook a “War on Terror” against whomever it so chooses to label as a “terrorist.” This quickly resulted in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, in which America installed a former Unocal executive, Hamid Karzai, as president. He immediately began construction on the extremely profitable natural gas and oil pipeline.
On the basis of the capitalist need for new markets, subjugated nations and the ever-present greed for oil, what we have seen the US do since 1960 is a deliberate attempt to economically sabotage through sanctions, blockades and oftentimes outright bombing and warfare, the nations such as Iraq and Afghanistan which resist its domination. Coalitions of other capitalist and imperialist nations such as the United Nations have always either supported these conflicts or have raised minor vocal objections while never taking concrete action against the US.The US and the NATO bloc are the sole world powers left. They are seeking to secure as many economic and political advantages as possible through the use of massive violence. The US has equipped itself with an excuse for intervention anywhere in the world by announcing that it has the right to invade any sovereign nation it feels is a threat. The recent air strikes in Pakistan and the smart missiles fired into Yemen (both of which killed alleged “terrorists”) illustrate this point. The US has already told nations like Syria and Iran that they could be next.
The wars against Iraq and Afghanistan, like the many wars before them, happened because of imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism in which more savage methods of oppression are needed in order for the ruling class to hold onto power. The root cause of these wars is the system of capitalism, which needs warfare to survive. The world cannot know peace until capitalism is overthrown, until the imperialist government is defeated and capitalism is done away with.