Internationalist No. 20 (January-February
No. 20,
January-February 2005

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked

Click on image to left for pdf version of complete issue.


Asian Tsunami Disaster Was Man-Made
Capitalist Tidal Wave of Death

The recent earthquake and killer wave (tsunami) that swept across the Indian Ocean, now estimated to have caused at least 225,000 deaths, is already judged to be the deadliest in modern history. But while the bourgeois media refer to such events as “natural disasters,” the terrible toll in lost lives and devastation they wreak is far more the result of the capitalist society in which such calamities take place. Most of those who perished were poor people living in vulnerable locations dangerously close to the sea, because that was where they were forced to huddle under the miserable conditions prevalent in semi-colonial countries. Currently the media are full of stories of a vast outpouring of charity and donations to provide relief for the victims of the unparalleled tragedy. But all the talk of “American generosity” is a cynical attempt to build support for U.S. imperialism’s criminal war on the Iraqi people.  Capitalist Tidal Wave of Death (15 January 2005)  

A “Natural Disaster” Foretold
The media keeps reiterating that there is no history of tsunamis in the Indian Ocean and so the deadly waves could not have been predicted. This is self-serving nonsense. A Thai meteorologist in 1998 and Australian scientists last fall warned that a tsunami could result from a thrust earthquake exactly where it took place. Their warnings were ignored. Heres why.  A “Natural Disaster” Foretold  (15 January 2005) 

From the Enlightenment to the French Revolution
Lisbon, 1755: The Earth Shook
Natural disasters often hasten the demise of a decaying society. The Lisbon earthquake and tsunami of November 1755, played a key role in the Enlightenment, intellectual forerunner for the French Revolution of 1789-1804.  Lisbon, 1755: The Earth Shook  (15 January 2005) 

  • Indonesian Military Butchers Out of Aceh!
  • Don’t Beg for Charity, Fight for Workers Revolution!
  • Marxism vs. Islamic Fundamentalism
  • Beware of Not-So-Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Mexico 1985: From the Earthquake to the Popular Front
  • Rosa Luxemburg: Martinique

  Boycott Colonial Occupation Election in Iraq!
Battered by a raging insurgency that has engulfed central and northern Iraq, the U.S. imperialists are hoping that a bogus “election” on January 30 can offer them a respite. This is not in any sense a “democratic” vote, even seen through the perverted prism of bourgeois electoralism in which capitalist money men cast the decisive votes. This rigged ballot is an attempt by the American butchers of Falluja and torturers of Abu Ghraib to legitimate their bloody occupation and destruction of Iraq.  The January 30 farce should be actively boycotted by all opponents of colonial rule, in an effort to smash this “electoral” façade for U.S. terrorist rule.  If a sectarian/communal civil war results, it will be the direct result of American policies. What’s needed instead is a united uprising of Iraqi toilers to drive out the U.S./UK imperialists and their stooges. Boycott Colonial Occupation Election in Iraq!  (24 January 2005)  

Bring Down Bush With Hard Class Struggle!
Imperial Coronation in D.C.
On January 20, George W. Bush had himself sworn in for a second term as commander of U.S. imperialism. The White House gang fancy themselves the unchallenged rulers of the world, and together with Wall Street, masters of the universe. What they put on in Washington was an ostentatious celebration of militarism. Bush gave a bombastic speech fiery evangelical imagery. Meanwhile, there is something approaching apocalypse now on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates. While champagne flowed in Washington, rivers of blood are flowing in Iraq. The Democrats’ reaction to the November elections can be summed up as “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” This only underscores the lesson that you can’t fight Bush with Democrats – or any bourgeois “alternative.” To bring down these bloodsuckers, it will take a real battle led by the only force with the power to take on and defeat the predatory capitalist-imperialist system of which Bush & Co. are currently the spearhead. That force is the proletariat, from Iraq to the United States. But to accomplish this mission, working people need a revolutionary leadership that is up to the taskImperial Coronation in D. C. (24 January 2005) 

Il Manifesto: Military Recruiters in U.S. Schools

Against All the Oligarchs, Capitalists and CIA-Backed “Opposition” –
Build a Trotskyist Workers Party!
U.S.-Sponsored Coup d’État in Ukraine
The scenario has become familiar in what U.S. geopoliticians are now calling the “post-Soviet space.” A closely contested election, a disputed result, crowds gathered in the central square of the capital to protest vote fraud. Well-financed opposition coalitions, flashy youth groups and telegenic spokesmen mount a savvy media operation. In September 2000, the scene was played out in Belgrade, Yugoslavia where Slobodan Milosevic was toppled after losing the one-sided Kosovo war with NATO the year before. Now it is Ukraine’s turn. U.S.-financed groups have mobilized a lavish “people’s cower” charade to support Washington's candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, against the Kremlin favorite, Viktor Yanukovich. This whole spectacle is actually a minutely choreographed coup d’état orchestrated by the U.S. While stressing class opposition to the imperialist power grab, in Ukraine it is vital to break the working class from its illusions in the “post-Soviet” managers around Yanukovich, who are blocking any real struggle against the U.S.-bankrolled free marketeers. A Trotskyist party is urgently needed in Ukraine to fight not only against the feuding oligarchs but also against the Stalinist politics of class collaboration that ties the workers to their class enemy. U.S.-Sponsored Coup d’État in Ukraine (12 December 2004)  

Bipartisan Massacre: Aftermath of War Elections
The Rape of Falluja: U.S. War Crime
After the American “terror war elections” came the post-election U.S. terror attack in Iraq. George Bush figured he would celebrate his reelection with a bang: send the Marines into the Iraq rebel stronghold of Falluja. That would show the world that he means business. The Pentagon’s first rule in its terrorist “war on terror” is now hit the hospitals first: that way there will be no statistics about women and children killed, no pictures of maimed bodies, no medical care for the insurgent or civilian wounded. In short order, the U.S. bombed the new Hai Nazal Hospital, stormed Falluja General Hospital and bombed the Falluja Central Health Clinic. The attack on Falluja was a bipartisan massacre, which had the support of both major parties of American capitalism. During the U.S. presidential election campaign, Democratic candidate John Kerry accused Bush of backing down from the assault on Falluja last April. Now the liberals are calling for sending in 40,000 more U.S. soldiers to keep the Iraqis down.  In this war, class-conscious workers the world over have a side: with the Iraqi people against the imperialist attackers and their colonial occupation. It is a matter of elementary class principle to stand for defense of  Iraq, and Afghanistan, and all the targets of U.S. and British imperialism, and to fight for the defeat of the imperialists.   The Rape of Falluja: U.S. War Crime (2 December 2004) 

Break with All the Capitalist Parties!
Build a Revolutionary Workers Party!

Million Worker March: Back-Door Support to Capitalist Democrats
On October 17, a “Million Worker March” was held at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., declaring that “by organizing in our own name and putting forth an independent workers’ agenda, we shall hold everyone’s feet to the fire.” The march was called by dissident union officials, who are unhappy with the blank check that the top labor officialdom of the AFL-CIO has given to Democratic Party nominee John Kerry. Millions of working people are burning with outrage over the way the cynical Bush regime has trampled on them, along with the exploited and oppressed the world over. Yet the march organizers, with their social-patriotic calls to “restore America” and “restore our democracy,” are diverting this potentially explosive anger into the safe channels of capitalist electoral politics. War, racism, poverty and unemployment – these are not issues of “priorities” or an “agenda” to be addressed by lobbying Congress or pressuring the Democrats. These are the products of a system that is based on exploitation and oppression, a system that generates endless wars: the capitalist system.  To put an end to these scourges afflicting humanity, it will take nothing less than international socialist revolution. And to prepare the way for that, the working class must oust the pro-capitalist union bureaucracy, break with all the capitalist parties – Democrats, Republicans, as well as the Nader populists – and build a revolutionary workers party.  Million Worker March: Back-Door Support to the Democrats (17 October 2004) 

It’ll Take Hard Class Struggle to
Beat the Labor-Hating Giant
On August 2, workers at the Wal-Mart store in Jonquière, Quebec won a union, making it the only unionized installation of the notoriously anti-labor chain in all of North America. With the support of a solid majority of the 170 employees, 80 percent of them women, the workforce is now represented by the Canadian United Food and Commercial Workers (TUAC in French). It is no accident that the first union victory against Wal-Mart should come in Quebec, where on May Day some 100,000 workers marched against the union-busting laws of the Liberal Party government, and in the northern  Saguenay-Lac-St.-Jean region, which has seen a series of militant labor battles over the last year. In January, aluminum workers in Jonquière took over an Alcan plant for almost three weeks when management announced the shutdown of a foundry. Union officials look to Quebec’s more liberal labor laws to aid them, but these same laws were used to declare the Alcan plant occupation illegal. Wal-Mart is the largest private employer in both the U.S. and Mexico, and union militants can learn important lessons from the struggle in Quebec. The Internationalist traveled to Jonquière to speak with the workers. Here is our report. Attention Wal-Mart Workers, Union Victory in Quebec  (September 2004)

Other articles in The Internationalist No. 20

The Mexican Working Class Is Fighting Back

Brazil: We Don’t Need a Social-Democratic “New Party” of Disillusioned Lulistas
Drive Brazilian Troops Out of Haiti!
“Fatherland Security” Hits CUNY
Police Repression at CUNY
Drive Military/Cop Recruiters Off Camps!
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