Obama’s Drone Attacks Kill Hundeds of Civilians
Some around the world think of the U.S. as the moral leader among nations. This idea is particularly spread within the borders of the U.S. in the media, schools, and universities. And politicians like Hillary Clinton and Obama proclaim this myth as they glorify “American Exceptionalism.”
Hundreds of drone attacks on Pakistan and other places in the Middle East demonstrate that they all lie. Drones are remote-controlled planes that launch missiles and drop bombs half way around the world, with no accountability or immediate danger to the invading U.S. military. The danger, however, to the U.S. population from the fury of the innocent victims and their friends and families is profound.
The LA Times just reported that a study by researchers at Stanford and New York Universities showed that the official U.S. claims of minimal harm to innocent civilians from drone attacks have badly understated the numbers of deaths. The attacks are aimed at killing leaders of Al Qaida and the Taliban, but the study found that among drone casualties only about 2% (!) are leaders of these terrorist groups. Of the other 98%, many are innocent civilians. Yet Obama’s top “counterterrorism” adviser, John Brennan, states that civilian casualties are “exceedingly rare.”
The study authors find it is very difficult to estimate the total number of civilian deaths, but state that the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (a non-profit British news agency) puts the figure, since 2004, somewhere between 474 and 884, including 176 children. Even this is likely to be an understatement, since Pakistani officials estimate between 2,500 and 3,300 were people killed by drones over that 9-year period — one quarter of the almost 350 attacks ordered by Bush and the vast majority by Obama.
Many in the U.S. think of Obama as the lesser of two evils in the race for the U.S. Presidency. Yet he is the one who has stepped up the drone attacks as a way of extricating combat forces from Afghanistan. There is little doubt that Romney would do exactly the same. That’s the kind of choice that elections under capitalism give to the working class. It helps to remember that lesser evil still is evil.
There is, however, a choice in the upcoming election, between voting, on the one hand, and not voting but instead organizing sharper international anti-racist class struggle, on the other. In fact, there is only one way for the world’s workers, particularly in the U.S., to extricate ourselves from this continual escalation of death and destruction in the name of maximum profits.
If we want to save our children, grandchildren, and ourselves, millions more will have to join PLP to build a massive and powerful party that rips this destructive power out of the hands of the small minority of murdering liars and terrorists who control all profits and governments everywhere. Voting doesn’t address this imperative, and never could.
Monstrous Fascist Assault on Immigrant Mother
A woman “Anna” from El Salvador who I’ve been visiting in detention for almost a year will soon be transferred to a remote location in Utah or Arizona. She contracted HIV in El Salvador because of a gang rape, a total of 75 assaults. With her life in jeopardy, she immigrated to the U.S., crossing the border with the help and sustenance from a group of men.
Here, she met a man from El Salvador; they have a child, and she came upon the man sexually assaulting his cousin. In stopping him, she was struck by a bottle he’d broken and he proceeded to cut himself as if she had been the attacker. He called the police and Anna was charged with domestic violence.
She has not seen her three-year-old son in all this time but having lost her court case for asylum will most likely be deported after a year or two more in isolating custody, never to see her son again. Her over-worked attorney neglected to make her HIV illness primary, which might have assured her asylum.
However, the prosecuting attorney was determined to guarantee her deportation and claimed she was inconsistent, which the judge upheld. Many social workers, and friends from other countries she has met in detention — two of whom have been released on bails exceeding $9,000 — have returned to visit, pled her case, offered to pay for more lawyer fees and house Anna and her son in their own homes. Their persistence, internationalism and compassion surpass my own.
Getting CHALLENGE to all these folks regularly will serve to point out that one lawyer or heartfelt support is not enough to battle a system that divides us all with cheapening labor and terror to intimidate us as a class. The women I have met will not be submissive but need the organization of a communist party — the Progressive Labor Party — to fight the capitalist system that controls the courts as well as wage-slave conditions in factories around the world.
Bi-Lingual comrade and visitor
How Can Workers Deal with Crime and Criminals?
The article “Bosses’ Police Declare War on Working Class” (CHALLENGE, 9/19) does a good job of describing how the police shock and infiltrate working-class communities in order to neutralize potential revolutionaries.
But I think there’s a weakness in the article. It doesn’t answer the liberals’ excuse for this fascist activity: the need to protect workers from criminals.
Hired killers, drug dealers, thieves, pimps, con men and so on form what is called the lumpenproletariat, composed of declassed people. Most members of the lumpenproletariat were originally part of some other social class. Originally, some were even ruling-class people.
Since this group has been declassed, its members have no class consciousness. Their main attitude is me-first individualism. Their victims include their friends and families and the working class in general.
Karl Marx explains in “Capital,” chapter 25, section 3 that the lumpenproletariat forms part of the industrial reserve army that is generated by the accumulation of capital. Capitalists need an industrial reserve army to keep wages down and workers demoralized. As a result, there cannot be a real “war on crime” under capitalism, because capitalists need the criminals that the capitalist system produces.
I think CHALLENGE needs to explain how the working class should deal with crime and criminals in the short term, hopefully with some concrete examples. Otherwise, the liberals will persuade workers that they need the police to protect them from the criminals.
Racist Zionist Lynch Attacks Not Isolated Incidents
The recent murderous racist and fascist lynch attacks by Jewish teens against Arab Palestinian teens are not rare, isolated incidents.
These pogroms have repeatedly occurred, as in the city of Hebron (El Chalil) in the West Bank, where Zionist national guard brutes beat up and caused serious injuries to a nine-year-old Arab Palestinian child. After that incident another young Arab Palestinian was beaten up by Jewish young men in the city of Jerusalem.
Due to Israel’s historical and political character, which can be defined as a racist colonialism, young Jewish “Israeli” children from their birth are being exposed to a racist socialization process. Two local scholars: Yosi Yona and Yehuda Shenhav summed it up in their research book, Racism in Israel: “Regarding Israeli society we should not speak about racist phenomena inside the Israeli society, we need to define it that Israeli society IS a racist phenomenon.”
This racism is an historical and political process that started with the beginning of the Zionist colonization in Palestine and was intensified by the two major ethnic cleansings that occurred in 1948 and 1967. The crisis of the capitalist system, especially today, makes it harder for the Zionist bosses to bribe Jewish workers with privileges so they need to deflect the workers’ anger into racist and nationalist dead-ends.
In addition, just a few months ago racist pogroms occurred against migrant workers’ communities from Eritrea and Sudan. Jewish workers from the Arab countries have held racist demonstrations with terrible slogans such as: “Negroes out!”
Even worse are the consistent slaughter attacks made by the Zionist fascist army against the Palestinian workers of the Gaza strip along with their systematic starvation. The only way to put an end once and for all to these atrocities is by working-class unity of Arab and Jewish workers to destroy the capitalist system that produces racism and replacing it with an egalitarian communist society for the working class and by the working class!
Comrade in Palestine