Saturday, January 11, 2020

War Is a Racket

The last week has been a roller coaster.
Many of us have breathed a slight sigh of relief as things deescalate a bit around Iran. But this doesn’t mean it’s over. Far from it. The need for a broad based, working-class anti-war movement, led by the communities most affected, has become yet more clear. The bipartisan drumbeat for war in Washington and in the capitalist media, the surveillance rhetoric coming from Democratic mayors, and the way Republicans labeled any debate as traitorous, were immediate and could be revived at any time. And the silent war against civilians, of sanctions, will continue and will disproportionately hurt the poor. We have seen that civilians always suffer in the war zone.
Besides the catastrophic results of even a proxy war in the Middle East for Iranians, Iraqis and others in the region, including undocumented, displaced Afghans in Iran, the domestic impact here can’t be overstated. Medicare for All would be off the table. Abolishing student debt would be off the table. Disaster response for Puerto Rico, rocked by their worst earthquakes in a century, would be off the table. A Green New Deal, our only hope for stopping the kind of climate change induced extreme weather that has led to massive fires in Australia and massive floods in Indonesia (mirroring our own fires and floods in 2019), would be off the table. A federal housing guarantee, which would directly benefit the tens of thousands of homeless veterans that the U.S. capitalist class has discarded after using their bodies for war, would be off the table.
Investment in public programs that benefit us all would be cut so that poor and working class people could be sent abroad to kill other poor and working class people.
And, those that would see us divided would continue to drive deeper wedges. Here in New York, there has been a string of violent antisemitic attacks. Many of us responded with solidarity. But the media and the politicians are using the opportunity to call for repeal of a hard-fought bail reform law which took effect January 1st. Internet trolls pit black people and Jews against each other, a project which would only be strengthened by war, along with Islamophobia and xenophobia.
Yet, as always, I have hope.
Prior to Trump’s assassination play, Iran was rocked by working class protests against the rising cost of fuel. 
India’s Hindu nationalist prime minister Narendra Modi faces widespread protests over draconian measures targeting India’s Muslim minority, the latest a mass strike of 250 million people just yesterday.
And here in the U.S., DSA and our allies in struggle are in the streets and building our power.

Within a day of the assassination, NYC DSA mobilized hundreds to picket at the home of Senator Chuck Schumer, and DSAers across the country are participating in or organizing our own protests, from Des Moines to Las Vegas. In the past week, chapters protested, then joined a DSA national organizing call to discuss how we, in all of the sectors and movements where we do work, can help build a more broad-based anti-war movement for the long haul. War, whether the spectacular kind with bombs, or the silent kind with economic sanctions, hurts the working class here and overseas. Our Democratic Socialist Labor Commission will discuss moving anti-war petitions in union locals, for example, because our political analysis is that these issues are all intertwined.
We’re collecting resources and ideas related to anti-war organizing war here, but read on for updates on all of our movement work and the upcoming National Political Committee meeting.

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