Internationalist No. 30 (November-December
No. 30,
November-December 2009

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked

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


Imperialist Chief Obama: Deeper Into the Quagmire
Defeat U.S. War on Afghanistan and Iraq!
On December 1, President Barack Obama officially announced a massive escalation of the U.S. war on Afghanistan, tripling the number of American military personnel there since Obama took office. This move marks a decision by Washington to continue the colonial occupation of Afghanistan indefinitely, and with it the bloody slaughter of the Afghan people. Obama’s claim that he would “begin the transfer” of U.S. forces by mid-2011 was just sucker bait for gullible liberals. “Afghanistan Is Now Obama’s War,” proclaimed the media from New York to London to Mumbai. But Afghanistan has been the Democrats’ war since the moment it was launched, in September 2001, and together with the war on Iraq, it is a bipartisan imperialist war. No one in Washington thinks the Afghan puppet army will be able to handle the Taliban. The actual U.S. strategy is not to defeat the Taliban but to weaken it enough so that elements of the Islamists can be brought into a political deal. It is striking that in the United States, a majority of the population is turning against the war even though there hasn’t been a major national antiwar march in more than two years – ever since the start of the last presidential election campaign. At protests following Obama’s announcement of more troops to Afghanistan, organizers carefully avoided any signs mentioning the president by name. Our Internationalist contingent, in contrast, carried signs including, “Hey Obama, How Many Kids Did You Kill Today? Defeat Imperialist Slaughter in Afghanistan, Iraq.” Defeat U.S. War on Afghanistan and Iraq!
Popular Front Diverts Workers into Legalistic Dead-End
Life and Death Struggle for Independent Unions in Mexico
The Mexican government of President Felipe Calderón has launched a war on labor that is likely to be the key battle for the existence of unions independent of government control. On October 10 police and army troops seized the generating plants and other installations of the state-owned Luz y Fuerza del Centro electrical power company. The president issued a decree liquidating the company and firing all 44,000 employees belonging to the Mexican Electrical Workers Union (SME). Calderón wants to imitate Ronald Reagan’s breaking of the air traffic controllers strike in 1981 and Margaret Thatcher victory over the British coal miners union in 1985. By October 15, well over 300,000 poured into the streets and crowded into the Zócalo, the capital’s main plaza to defend the SME. The Grupo Internacionalista has called to prepare a general strike in central Mexico in defense of the SME. But while union leaders sometimes talk of strike action, they are following a dead-end strategy of appealing to the bourgeois courts and Congress. Now the cause of the electrical workers has been added to the popular front around Andrés Manuel López Obrador, ex-presidential candidate of the bourgeois nationalist PRD, who is looking to the 2012 elections. For electrical workers to win they must break with all the bourgeois parties and politicians. Key is to build  a revolutionary workers party. Life and Death Struggle for Independent Unions in Mexico
Appeals to Obama’s Top Cop Eric Holder Spread Deadly Illusions
Mumia’s Life Is On the Line: Mobilize Labor/Black Power to Free Him Now!
The threat to Mumia Abu-Jamal’s life is increasingly ominous. His lead attorney, Robert Bryan, warns: “There is an escalated effort by the authorities to see him die at the hands of the executioner. This is the most dangerous time for Mumia since his 1981 arrest.” The U.S. Supreme Court has turned down Jamal’s two appeals. If it were to rule in favor of the prosecutions appeal, this would open the way for Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell to issue a third warrant of execution, which he has vowed to do. Contrary to the misplaced expectations of many, the Obama administration is not about to save Mumia. Around the world, hundreds of thousands have marched for this courageous champion of oppressed. Trade unions representing millions of members have rallied to the defense of Mumia. It is urgent to expand this support into powerful labor/black action, appealing to the integrated union movement to join with the black, Latino and immigrant poor to demand that he be liberated.  Mumia’s Life Is On the Line: Mobilize Labor/Black Power to Free Him Now!
Honduras: Sweep Away the Coup Plotters, Generals and Capitalists –
Fight for a Workers and Peasants Government!

For Revolutionary Workers Struggle Against Coups in Central America
The civilian-military coup d’état of June 28 unleashed a nightmare for the Honduran masses, and not just for them.  It threatens all of Latin America with a return to the times of the military dictatorships, of the dirty wars and the death squads of the 1970s and ’80s. Despite the denials by U.S. spokesmen, this coup was “made in U.S.A.” The question that is posed is how to eradicate this plague that has beset Latin America for decades. To suppose that the solution is to be found in merely reestablishing “constitutional order” by restoring President Zelaya, or even that it can be resolved in a bourgeois-democratic framework, is to ignore the class forces which produced the coup, as well as the web of complicity extending from Tegucigalpa to Washington, D.C.  Historically, left-wing forces in Central America have been dominated by a nationalist vision and politics, but only through international socialist revolution is it possible to eradicate the threat of constant coups, which are inherent in Latin American capitalism under imperialist domination.
For Revolutionary Workers Struggle Against Coups in Central America

Now It’s Official: U.S. Backs Coup Regime – A Threat to All Latin America
Honduras After the Phony “Election”:
More Repression and Resistance

On November 29, the authors of the civilian-military coup d’état who seized power in Honduras five months earlier held a plebiscite-style pseudo-election accompanied by massive repression designed to legitimize the dictatorship. In the poor barrios of the capital Tegucigalpa and major towns and in the countryside, the call “don’t vote” was widely followed and people massively stayed home. Since then there has been a wave of disappearances and murders of resistance activists. The death squads are back. Despite the bloody repression, the groups leading the resistance to the coup regime vowed to continue the struggle. However, even though it was based in the trade unions, peasant organizations, women’s and gay rights groups and organizations of indigenous peoples and the black Garífuna population, politically this movement was tied to Zelaya and other bourgeois politicians and parties. Although the Resistance Front declared this “chapter” of the struggle closed, it is wedded to popular-front bourgeois politics, such as its call for “participatory democracy” through a constituent assembly. The League for the Fourth International has called throughout for independent labor mobilization to defeat the gorila (reactionary militarist) coup, and for a revolutionary workers party to lead the fight for a workers and peasants governmentHonduras After the Phony “Election”: More Repression and Resistance
“Dialogue” with the Coup Regime and Its Yankee Godfathers Is a Trap
The San José-Tegucigalpa Accord: No to the Imperialist Edict!
The San José-Tegucigalpa Accord, supposedly the result of “dialogue” between representatives of Honduran president Manuel Zelaya and the puppet “president” of the coup regime, Roberto Micheletti, is actually an imperialist diktat. Zelaya’s supporters hailed the signing of the Accord as a victory. This is a major error: not only did it mean dropping the demand for a constituent assembly, one of the key issues that touched off the coup, but it also requires signers to denounce “any sort of demonstrations opposed to the elections or their result, or which promote insurrection.” This agreement does not mean the restoration of “constitutional order,” and even less does is it a victory for “democracy”; rather, it is a victory for the blood-soaked coup plotters. At the present time it is necessary to unmask the electoral farce of the coup regime: to the extent possible, it would be appropriate to call for an active boycott to prevent the electoral farce. A paramount task, particularly outside Honduras, is defense of the resistance fighters against the deadly repression. The San José-Tegucigalpa Accord: No to the Imperialist Edict!
Drive Out All the Imperialists!
Afghan Massacre Blows Apart German Occupiers’ Lies
In the early morning hours of September 4, the German Bundeswehr commander in Kunduz, in northern Afghanistan, ordered U.S. fighter jets to carry out air strikes on two hijacked jet fuel tankers bogged down in the sand of a river bed where local villagers had gathered to siphon off precious fuel. At least half of some 140 victims who were burned alive in the fireball created by blowing up the tankers were civilians. Despite the best efforts of the government parties and much of the opposition in the German Bundestag (parliament) to bury the issue, it wouldn't go away. So almost three months later, the former German war minister, the head of the Bundeswehr and a state secretary were forced to resign, sacrificed in the government’s creeping cover-up of Germany’s biggest massacre since the end of World War II. Afghan Massacre Blows Apart German Occupiers’ Lies
Massacre in Maguindanao
Warlords, Clan Wars and Capitalist Rule in Philippines
On November 23, some 57 people including women and journalists were massacred in the province of Maguindanao on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao, as a result of a feud between two rival political clans that run neighboring states. Both are supporters of Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The horrific massacre sent shock waves through the islands. It was the biggest election-related massacre in the history of the Philippines as well as the largest number of journalists (18) killed in a single event. Ascontroversy wouldn’t die down, on December 5 Arroyo placed the province under martial law. Soldiers discovered an arms cache with enough weapons for a military brigade. It was well-known that the military armed local clan militias to back up its brutal offensive against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The Philippine army is accompanied in the area by a 600-soldier U.S. counterinsurgency force. The League for the Fourth International calls on the workers movement to demand the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. forces and agents from the Philippines, to oppose the martial law imposed in Maguindanao province, to demand the withdrawal of the Philippine armed forces from the contested southern areas, and to defend the Bangsamoro people and their right to self-determination. Warlords, Clan Wars and Capitalist Rule in Philippines
Mobilize Workers’ Action to Defend Bangsamoro Peoples’ Struggle!
Drive Out All U.S. Imperialist Troops and Agencies!
Philippine Government Launches New War on Muslim Groups
War officially came to southern Philippines again as the government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo unilaterally put an end to eleven years of negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) September 3. A month early the government abruptly broke off talks with the MILF on the eve of signing an autonomy pact. There are numerous reports of U.S. Special Forces accompanying Philippines Army units on their deadly sweeps in the Bangsamoro (land of the Moro people) region. More than 100 people have been killed so far and half a million refugees have fled from the fighting. Bourgeois liberals and the petty-bourgeois left lamely call on the government to resume the “peace process,” which in any case was only intended to wear down the insurgents. Revolutionaries instead seek to mobilize Philippine workers to drive out all U.S. forces, whatever their legal status; to force the withdrawal of the AFP from the contested southern areas; and to defend the Bangsamoro people and their right to self-determination.. Philippine Government Launches New War on Muslim Groups  (13 September 2008)
Drive Out the MINUSTAH! Workers to Power!
Haiti: Battle Over Starvation Wages and Neocolonial Occupation
Haiti, home of the first successful slave revolution in history, has for most of its independent history been condemned by the workings of the capitalist system to a threadbare existence of grinding poverty. For years, the only images of Haiti have been of sheer desperation. But Haiti does have a working class, and in August these workers fought an important battle against starvation wages. In the end, the Haitian parliament rejected the call for a US$5 daily minimum wage in the face of opposition by the president and industrialists. It was a bitter defeat for the first major working-class mobilization under the U.N. occupation. But workers confronted the peacekeepingtroops of the MINUSTAH who act as mercenaries for U.S. imperialism. The Brazilian military has carried out massacres in Haiti with the same counterinsurgency tactics it uses in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. Meanwhile, in the neighboring Dominican Republic, racist violence against Haitians is mounting, including lynchings. The U.S. and Brazilian sections of the League for the Fourth International have been active defending Haitian workers in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Haiti: Battle Over Starvation Wages and Neocolonial Occupation
Courageous Strikers Could Have Won – Class-Struggle Leadership Key
Lessons of the Battle for Stella D’oro
After a struggle lasting more than a year, the mainly immigrant workers at the Stella D’oro bakery in the Bronx, New York lost their jobs in early October [2009], when the owners closed the plant. The 15-month struggle at this small factory became a cause célèbre because it symbolized workers’ endurance and courage in defense of the most basic rights of labor. As the fight grew ever more bitter, conflicting strategies and political conceptions were brought to the fore. The closing of the plant was a real defeat for the labor movement as a whole. But the Stella D’oro strike could have ended in victory – and the company’s plan to break the union and then to shut down the plant could have been stopped. To do this would have required a massive mobilization of labor’s power.  Instead, the labor bureaucrats let these courageous workers go it virtually alone, because of the union leaders’ subordination to the bosses’ rules, institutions and parties. Many left activists who participated in strike support activities tailed the union misleaders’ losing consumer-boycott “strategy,” with the usual popular-frontist rhetoric about how “the people united will never be defeated.” Internationalist Group supporters instead worked intensively among area unionists with the call for using labor’s muscle to get the scab products off the supermarket shelves and to block the flow of products into the struck plant. Lessons of the Battle for Stella D’oro (November 2009)

To contact the League for the Fourth International or its sections, send an e-mail to: internationalistgroup@msn.com