MARK U.N. INTERNATIONAL PEACE DAY WITH ACTIONS FOR PEACE WITH SOCIAL JUSTICE, LIBERATION AND DEMOCRACY
US-led imperialism is in decline and on a disastrous path. The abandonment of its cruel and immoral occupation of Afghanistan, done ahead of schedule and with no planning, belies the state of anarchy and furious panic it has sunken into and total disregard for human suffering and human rights. It seemed President Biden rushed to order the withdrawal in time for the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the US, perhaps aiming to save face. In fact, it has not won a war since WW2. It has orchestrated coups to bring in dictators, supported occupations that serve it or invaded regions to take direct control (Grenada, Iraq, Afghanistan). The profit motive dominates most aspects of state affairs, so that chaos and perpetual conflict is approved where US imperialist neo-colonies cannot be founded so that the profiteers can benefit.
The US righteously violates international laws, standards and norms all the time, still ridiculously clinging to the line of self-entitlement (“exceptionalism”) and is engaging of multiple forms of aggression including economic, cyber, misinformation and manipulation, collaboration with terrorists and reaction. The worldwide militarization and preparations for war must be stopped! The people are becoming more politically aware and engaged in grassroots organizing. Fundamental change will take a united, global movement that understands the exploitative and plundering nature of the global system of monopoly capitalism, its armed aggression, policies of neo-liberalism and hostility to any non-compliant nation or state. The peoples of the world are representing themselves and take up the cause for just peace, liberation and real democracy. The imperialist powers will not simply give up unless the working people and oppressed actively and as a whole face them and demand it. The people cannot gamble that capitalism will develop a heart or that new faces in the capitalist countries signify big change. They will not give up their struggles.
Imperialism as defined by Lenin is the contemporary form of global capitalism, with its monopolies dominated by financial oligarchs that economically and territorially divide the world in their quest for exponential growth and ceaseless, forceful, worldwide expansion. Military and industry are tied. They work in tandem mostly outside the political processes and even beyond the scope of the law designed to protect the rule of monopoly capital. Imperialism is an inherently irrational and violent system that operates without concern for human welfare and that has abandoned social development and human rights altogether. The crisis of overproduction, inflation, disparity and debt never resolved, austerity measures have been imposed to grab more land, exploit labour further, privatize state resources, deregulate industry and trade to the max and rely on services and intangible products (services, intellectual property, financial products) since manufacturing has slumped so far. The chief result is more conflict. In fact, war and “state security” are a very lucrative industry that wants to keep business booming. States crack down on the people, turn over more land and ruin ecologies at the behest of foreign and local corporations, violating indigenous lands and rights more and more, destroying nature and farmlands, displacing communities, causing starvation, pandemics and other hardships and stirring up resistance. War and resistance rage.
The US and its allies strategize to take every possible measure to damage states that nationalize industries and expand public services, and they demonize national liberation movements that seek to throw out occupiers or build their own, self-reliant nations, even financing and unleashing terroristic warlords and meddling in internal affairs to win. Misinformation is spread and racism, communalism and gender bias incited to hold onto power. Cruel economic blockades that deprive working people of daily necessities are exacted to strangle societies that do not conform. Comprehending the motivations, relations and machinery of the imperialist system, one can see why the questions of, for instance, Palestine’s or the Kashmir’s independence, peaceful reunification between North and South Korea, social equality and guarantees of home and livelihood are never settled.
We can see how and why the Crimea, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq are in constant turmoil and why the US and company want to destroy Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. The minority of the world’s very wealthy and their way of amassing private wealth would be greatly disrupted if such problems were properly addressed and resolved. They wish to stem and confuse popular criticism and rebellion. It does not make much difference which political officials they prop up. When Barrack Obama became US President, some political commentators suggested it meant the end of racism and a resolution to race relations. Hardly so, as we can plainly see today. Likewise, merely voting in women to high positions of power has not relieved women of daily oppression, inequality and discrimination. Counting on the election of nominally democratic or liberal political parties has not brought about real democracy or any substantive, lasting relief from war and crisis. Far from impeding militarization, aggression and the arms trade, they more often facilitate military practice and allow fascism to rise. Despite the people’s hopes, this has been the case no matter who gets into power or what narrative they tell in France, the UK or Canada, for example.
The US and its friends including Britain and Canada directly occupied Afghanistan 20 years ago after announcing the “War on Terror” which began by targeting the Al Qaeda there. Ironically, the US had engaged in operations to support, arm and train similar political Islamist extremists, the Mujahideen including the Taliban and Al Qaeda, against the Marxists and their allies, the Soviet Red Army in the 1980s and 1990s. Al Qaeda was welcomed to the country from Saudi Arabia in the nineties . The US thus helped terrorists and backward, anti-democratic forces to grow, whom it turned on in 2001 in an attempt to take over the country and establish a neo-colony with a puppet state. It could never reach this objective, leaving behind a path of destruction in which hundreds of thousands of Afghans and US, British and Canadian soldiers killed. The Afghan army and government it installed were criminal and corrupt. The US caused poverty; the progress it had claimed to be constructing was never really done, although the US alone spent some $300 million of taxpayers’ money a day on the war (Stop War
Coalition, UK). Millions went into dead-end projects.
When it fled, the US left aircraft, guns, night vision ware, ammunition, and other gear to the Taliban. The people are increasingly involved in movements for real change themselves. When informed and aroused, they will support a clear peoples’ agenda for just peace that challenges imperialism and struggles for its downfall. They must hold high a clear peoples’ agenda for just peace, ENSURING THAT THEIR ISSUES AND DEMANDS BE ADDRESSED BEFORE GIVING UP THEIR FIGHTS. Then plans for reparations including reconstruction and legal justice would have to be drawn up, and treaties and apologies made. Land, social and political reforms that benefit the people would have to be negotiated, as well. Adherence to well-known principles of social equality, healthcare and education for all, human rights (labour, civil, gender, national, etc.) and national sovereignty would have to be respected and enforced.
For example, the US-Taliban peace talks of Spring 2021 failed because the people were not heard, their problems and nationhood went unaddressed and principles ignored, so that Taliban had free reign to abuse and exploit the people for their own gain as soon as the US left. Occupations and civil wars must go through peace processes with reconciliation and justice defined and planned. For example, Palestinian resistance to Israel’s occupation cannot be resolved until the occupation and aggression against Palestinians are acknowledged and ended. Then negotiations would have to work on a plan for reparations, demilitarization, justice for the victims of crimes against humanity, poverty and social inequality, expropriation, food insecurity and housing. Other examples are the peace process between the US, South Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and that between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the government of the Republic of the Philippines.
In Korea the US has to end its military exercises, pull back its forces, close its military bases and sign a real peace treaty. The US should not interfere in the talks of the authorities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea about the unification of their fatherland. As for the Philippines, the questions of land distribution, dire poverty, food insecurity, human rights violations, democratic norms and public services, as well as restitution, must be negotiated and settled. In the face of this repression, there is growing understanding and support for the NDFP armed resistance. In that peace process, the human rights conditions have been signed off, but past and present governments keep balking at settling the land and social demands. They prefer to kowtow to foreign interests rather than engage in national social and economic development. Instead of settling the conflict, the government has walked away from the table to intensify its military operations and state repression against resisters and critics to heights not seen before. The human rights situation is worse than ever.
The so-called democratic states such as the US, European Union and others continue to let the atrocities happen while they help the vicious state of the Philippines and profit from the abominable conditions. With respect to world peace, aggressor states must be named and held accountable. Arms trade and the use of weapons of mass destruction would have to be sternly contained along with unconventional weapons including cyber- and psy-war, biological and chemical warfare. Unjust economic coercive measures (i.e., “sanctions”) would need to be suspended. Foreign militaries would have to withdraw and foreign bases close. Sovereignty and various national economies must be respected. Reconciliation with indigenous peoples would have to be worked out and colonialism dismantled once and for all. These are huge, long term tasks. The main obstacle to accomplishing these steps is the global military-industrial complex that profits from conflict and imperialist expansionist and harbors land/ market-grabbing intentions. The US plays the key role in defending and overseeing the intrusions and bullying of
monopoly capital. It and all its allies such as NATO and ANZUS members have to be subdued and held accountable, international law and United Nations decisions followed.
To the ILPS and Commission 4, peace does not mean acquiescence and silence. Humankind would be doomed were we to be passive and quiet as the world becomes increasingly dangerous and unsustainable and human life more precarious. Let us deepen our commitment to struggle against imperialism for just peace on September 21 and make Peace Day meaningful. Build a unified struggle for a better world!
The people are struggling to win and defend their rights and future. They will not stand by as the chaos, excess, violence and suffering burn up the planet. Waiting for each election period to mark a ballot is not enough political involvement. Join the movement for change. It is a matter of life or extinction. There are many ways to be a part of it and contribute. Use your best skills and knowledge and the time and connections you have. Most of all, make sure your voice is heard and that you are there to listen to others and plan a workable, sustainable course together with your peers and communities to guarantee a better world for future generations.
Together the best of human know-how, values and wisdom will prevail. Take another step forward by organizing people’s actions on U.N. International Peace Day, September 21! Challenge the United Nations members to confront the aggressors and occupiers, and negotiate resolutions the major issues facing the people: food insecurity, lack of housing and infrastructure, violence, insufficient means of livelihood, state repression, climate change, etc.