Resist U.S. Militarism in Times of COVID-19!

U.S. imperialism has always meant war in rivalry with other imperialist superpowers. It has meant military aggression against subjugated peoples.  It has meant direct foreign intervention against Cuba, Venezuela, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and other nations assertive of their sovereignty.

Instead of addressing the health and economic crisis in these critical times of the Covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. has even intensified its bellicose and jingoist foreign policy, saber-rattling, militarism and war.

Despite the significant headway made by Cuba in medicine, health care and international assistance, the U.S. has opted to impose its decades-old embargo against Cuba.  This has long been criticized as a violation of international law and the U.N. Charter. The U.S. has been consistenly condemed by freedom-loving peoples of the world.

In Venezuela, the U.S. is escalating its intervention. On March 26, in the thick of the pandemic, the U.S. announced to indict high government officials of drug-trafficking charges.  A $15-million bounty for the head of Pres. Nicolas Maduro was offered.  The monetary reward usually precedes direct military invasion as in the case of Manuel Noriega’s Panama in 1989, of Iraq under Saddam Hussein in 2003, and of Muammar Gadhafi of Libya in 2011. U.S. invasion is assisted by military and para-military troops from Colombia and other U.S. client states in Latin America. A U.S. mercenary coup invasion on May 5 was foiled by the Venezuelan people and government.

In the Korean Peninsula, shots were exchanged between North and South Korea on May 4 in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ).  The U.S. has maintained a divided Korea with its military bases in South Korea, as well as in Japan, the Philippines and the Indo-Pacific, and remains in a state of war against the DPRK. Amid the pandemic, the U.S.  has no intention of resuming nuclear talks after a breakdown of the second summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un in early 2019. The U.S. rebuffed calls for major sanctions relief in return for partial disarmament and even speculated on the health of the DPRK leader.

Aside from Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea, the U.S. has also imposed its economic sanctions against Syria, Iran Ukraine/Russia, Afghanistan, and Sudan. The U.S. Treasury Department, the Commerce Department and the State Department combined embargoes against 30 countries/territories.

The neoconservative war-and-conquest agenda has nested in the U.S. long before the 2001 War on Terror.  With the rise of U.S. rivals China and Russia, and the growing tide of nations asserting their independence from U.S. hegemony, the neoconservative policy-makers in Washington are whipping up intervention, aggression, militarism and war. They are even using the pandemic to demonize their rivals, quell domestic dissent, and push their global offensive.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security reported that China intentionally downplayed the severity of the pandemic and stocked up on imports and reduced exports of medical supplies.  Trump officials even suggested that the virus originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China contradicting findings from their own intelligence community.

Pres. Trump has formulated a long-term plan to “punish” China over the virus outbreak. It matches but also goes beyond Trump’s election strategy to stave off defeat, distract public attention and cover up his own catastrophic handling of the crisis. Bleeding from an insoluble crisis as it weans away from the supply chains in China, the U.S. is ramping up for war.

This is no time for complacency. We need to act now. The ILPS calls on its affiliates and solidarity allies around the world to resist the escalation of U.S. militarism especially in these times of the pandemic, economic hardships, social discontent and political divisions. We call for social collective solutions, not militarism and imperialist war.

Let us support the broad Resist US-led Wars movement as well as assist the campaigns for the dismantling of US foreign military bases worldwide. Lift the sanctions on Cuba, Venezuela, the DPRK and other countries. Fight for peace based on independence, equality and justice!

Signed:

Len Cooper

Chairperson, ILPS

*photo from Reuters

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