December 1998 
Democrats, Republicans Murder Iraqis, 
Starve Welfare Moms and Kids!
To Hell with Monicagate and Impeachment–
Clinton is a War Criminal

Defeat U.S. Imperialism! Defend Iraq!

 Iraqi women in Qorna in southern Iraq survey a house destroyed by missile.

Mobilize Workers Power Against the Imperialist Terror Bombers!
Break the Starvation Embargo! 
Down with UN Sanctions and "Inspections"!


After twice going to the brink earlier in 1998, Washington launched its long-threatened bombing attack on Iraq in mid-December. For 70 hours, the U.S. and British imperialists rained death and destruction on the Iraqi people, following eight years of a vicious economic blockade that has killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, particularly young children. The attack by waves of B-1, B-2, B-52, F-117 and Tornado bombers and hundreds of cruise missiles was an attempt to bring a semi-colonial country to its knees and assert the U.S. role as global gendarme. Dubbed "Desert Fox," the nickname of Hitler's general Rommel, Clinton's raids, like the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91, were intended to enforce a New World Order under U.S. hegemony, including bringing Washington's sometimes reluctant imperialist allies to heel. And Washington continues to bomb anti-aircraft installations defending Iraq's air space, vowing to stage a replay of its murderous operation early in 1999. 

The Internationalist Group calls for defense of Iraq against U.S. imperialist attack. While giving no political support to Saddam Hussein, the working class must stand resolutely on the side of the Iraqi victims of this aggression by the imperialists who are a far greater danger to humanity than the bloody Iraqi dictator could ever be. Just as in the case of the "Desert Slaughter" launched by Republican Bush eight years earlier, it is necessary to mobilize the class power of the proletariat internationally and within the United States to defend the Iraqi people against the Democrat Clinton's cold-blooded mass murder. Workers protests, strikes and labor boycotts of war materiel are called for, demanding an end to the bombing, the starvation embargo, the "no fly" zones and the provocative "UN inspections" which serve as a pretext for imperialist aggression. The sections of the League for the Fourth International, in different national terrains, fight for such urgently needed actions, propagandizing among class-conscious workers for proletarian-internationalist struggle against imperialism in the fight to build a world party of socialist revolution. 

The U.S. and its imperialist allies and flunkeys in the UN keep denouncing Iraqi "weapons of mass destruction." What cynical hypocrisy! The U.S. is the only power that has ever used nuclear weapons, atomic bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki while firebombing Tokyo, Osaka and numerous German cities, causing hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths. While the imperialist press piously denounces Iraq for possibly developing chemical weapons, the U.S. slaughtered some 2 million Vietnamese, including using chemical weapons such as napalm and Agent Orange. In the Gulf War, the U.S. used depleted uranium shells which continue to poison Iraqi civilians. Britain–which under Tony Blair's "New Labour" government joined in Clinton's murderous rampage–conquered Iraq as a colonial prize in the imperialist First World War and used chemical weapons there in 1920 to put down a bourgeoning popular revolt (see "Defend Iraq Against U.S. Imperialist Attack!" in The Internationalist No. 5, April-May 1998). 

The White House and Pentagon pretend this is all about weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a crazed and lawless Near East regime. How about Israel, which locked up nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu for disclosing its arsenal of at least 200 nuclear bombs developed at its atomic weapons center at Dimona? Israel also has stockpiled chemical weapons, as came to light following a series of accidents at the laboratory in the town of Nes Ziona in which several people died; in one case the entire population of the town had to be evacuated. But Israel is an ally of the U.S., which is pushing the vaunted "peace process" that would permanently confine the Palestinian Arab population in a giant West Bank/Gaza concentration camp, crisscrossed by Israeli highways, militarily subjugated by the Israeli army and heavily armed ultra-rightist settlers, and administered for Israel by Yasir Arafat's PLO. We call on Hebrew-speaking and Palestinian Arab working people to join hands in overthrowing their Zionist and Arab nationalist bourgeois rulers and leading the way to a socialist federation of the Near East. 

The U.S. and UK imperialists claim to be defending "international law" even as they launch terror bombing without the slightest "legal" pretext. While denouncing Iraqi terrorism, the Pentagon brazenly tries to assassinate Saddam Hussein and foment a military coup. The U.S. now admits that at least a quarter of the bombing missions in the Gulf war were aimed at "decapitating" the Iraqi leadership. In one such operation, they murdered hundreds of women and children in an air raid shelter. The UN "inspectors" are nothing but imperialist spies who are fed information by and follow the orders of the U.S. and Israel. Chief "inspector" Richard Butler produced his latest report, which served as the pretext for Clinton's attack, on direct request from the White House, and it was turned over to Washington two days before being submitted to the UN. While some UN Security Council members like France, Russia and China demur at the bombing, they have all enforced the UN sanctions and inspection regime against the Iraqi people. 

Today in most of West Europe, social democrats and reformist "Communist" parties are in office in the form of popular front governments. While "Tory" Blair in Britain openly joins in the U.S.-orchestrated terror bombing of Iraq, the rest of NATO participates surreptitiously. Thus despite the pro forma dissent from the bombing by the French government of "Socialist" Jospin, French planes involved in enforcing the imperialist-decreed "no fly" zones provided the air reconnaissance for U.S. bomb strikes in southern Iraq. In Germany the government of Social Democratic chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Green foreign minister Joseph Fischer, both former "'68ers" who once protested the war on Vietnam, gave a green light for the use of American bases in Germany in providing logistical support to "Operation Wüstenfuchs." With all its peace rhetoric, the UN is nothing but a fig leaf for warmongering U.S. imperialism. 

Ever since the late 1970s, the U.S. has used the rhetoric of "human rights" to mask its war drive, first against the Soviet Union and then, following the counterrevolutionary destruction of that bureaucratically degenerated workers state, against any other regime that fails to unconditionally accept Washington's diktat. The fury unleashed against Saddam Hussein, a run-of-the-mill nationalist despot (and former U.S. ally), is intended as a deadly warning to anyone who would cross the would-be sheriffs of the New World Order. Saddam is a vicious butcher, who first launched his reign of terror against the Iraqi Communist Party (among whose founders were numerous Jewish and Kurdish communists). But lest anyone think that the imperialists are allies of Saddam's victims, look at the sorry fate of the Kurds who rose up at U.S. instigation at the end of the Gulf War. It was the imperialists' "peace" following World War I which dismembered the Kurdish people. A united Kurdistan can only be achieved through socialist revolution against imperialism, joining hands with the Iraqi, Iranian and Turkish proletariat to bring down all all the capitalist powers of the region. 

Meanwhile, as Washington prates about "human rights" as a pretext for mass murder, U.S. prisons are filled with hundreds of thousands of black and Hispanic youth and executions are speeded up in its racist dungeons. Now the drive has been stepped up to silence forever radical black journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, the "voice of the voiceless" on Pennsylvania's death row. We call on militant workers and defenders of democratic rights internationally to mobilize to demand freedom for Mumia. The enemy of workers and the oppressed in the United States is here at home: the American capitalist ruling class and its government are the biggest terrorists in the world. 

It was certainly no coincidence that bombs began falling on Baghdad and Basra scant hours before the U.S. House of Representatives was to begin voting on the Republican motion to impeach Bill Clinton over a sex scandal. Likewise, last August the U.S. bombed a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan and some "terrorist training camps" in Afghanistan (which had been constructed by the CIA when it was financing an Islamic fundamentalist jihad against the Soviet Union in the 1980s) just as Monica Lewinsky was testifying before the special prosecutor in Washington. Overseas military adventures are standard diversionary tactics for imperialist war criminals. Much of the U.S. population immediately compared Clinton's attack to the satirical movie Wag the Dog, in which a U.S. president stages a phony war to extricate himself from a similar sex scandal. But even as Republicans "rallied 'round the flag," this did not stave off impeachment. 

While the Republican right pursues a reactionary anti-sex witchhunt, the Democrats respond by bombing Iraq. Cartoonists showed the White House launching missiles against Congress. In fact, the impeachment fight in Washington is not separate from the war drive against Iraq. The twin parties of American capital are competing on the terrain of imperialist warmongering. Ever since the U.S.' defeat at the hands of the heroic Vietnamese peasants and workers in the mid-1970s, the ruling class politicians have sought to overcome the "Vietnam syndrome" of reluctance to engage in another losing military adventure. Behind the divisions in the U.S. ruling class, the fact is that the war party in Washington includes both capitalist parties. As an Internationalist Group sign in recent protests put it: "Democrats and Republicans Murder Iraqis, Starve Welfare Moms and Kids!" Another IG placard proclaimed: "To Hell with Monicagate and Impeachment–Clinton is a War Criminal!" 

We fight to mobilize the working class for socialist revolution to defeat U.S. imperialism. After years of declining numbers of strikes, the U.S. working class has recently showed its strength in strike battles at UPS and General Motors, while Puerto Rican workers staged a two-day general strike in the midst of a bitter telephone workers' strike against privatization. The working class must enter the political arena in its own name, at the head of all the oppressed, linking the factory to the black ghettos and Latino barrios in revolutionary class struggle. This means explicitly fighting for workers action against imperialist war as part of the fight to build a revolutionary workers party. Various reformists who tail after the Democrats, such as the Workers World Party and Communist Party, have had their game exposed as one of their favorite liberals, Jesse Jackson, vociferously supported bombing Iraq. 

As stressed in a December 17 statement of the Liga Quarta-Internacionalista do Brasil, section of the League for the Fourth International: "Only socialist revolution can put an end to this system of oppression and terror, destroying imperialism through the overthrow of world capitalism; proletarian mobilization against the current imperialist aggression is part of this struggle." Now is the time to mobilize class struggle against the racist rulers of the American empire. In defending the semicolonial peoples targetted by U.S. imperialism, the working class will advance the cause of its own liberation and that of the exploited and oppressed throughout the world! 

Defeat U.S. imperialism ! Defend Iraq! 
Break the UN starvation embargo! Oppose the imperialist military sanctions!
Build a revolutionary workers party in the struggle to reforge the Fourth International! 

Internationalist Group 
section of the League for the Fourth International 

To contact the Internationalist Group and the League for the Fourth International, send an e-mail to: internationalistgroup@msn.com