No to US bases, plunder and war!

Statement of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle Commission 1
On the cause of national liberation, democracy and social liberation

The International League of Peoples’ Struggle Commission One calls on the people of the world to protest the upcoming Asia visit of United States imperialist chieftain Barack Obama in April 2014. The imminent visits to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines are in line with the US strategic military “pivot” and the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). Obama’s visit brings with it the US imperialist agenda of entrenching US hegemony in Asia in light of China’s rise as a major regional power, in order to continue imposing itself as the preeminent economic and military power in the Asia-Pacific region.

The US is using the strategic Asia “pivot” to advance its economic and geopolitical interests in the region and to encircle and contain potential “peer rivals” such as China. Within the first 10 years of the pivot, the US seeks to move 60% of its warships to Asia. The US is ramping up its military deployment in the Asia-Pacific region, with the construction of new US bases in Japan, South Korea and Guam, and the deployment of an increasing number of rotational troops as well as the prepositioning of war materiel in Australia and the Philippines. The US wants to maintain its status as a Pacific power by further riding roughshod on the sovereignty of countries in the region and imposing neo-liberal economic policies and programs.

Obama is attending the Japan-US summit on 23 April to affirm the two countries’ military alliance that includes Japan’s hosting of a wide range of US bases aimed at encircling China and threatening the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). The TPPA is also on the agenda of the summit. Obama will move to Seoul, South Korea where he is expected to also affirm the US’ military alliance with South Korea. Obama will then go to Malaysia to make another pitch for the TPPA. His last stop will be the Philippines where he is expected to sign a de facto basing pact disguised as an “Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement”. This would allow the US Armed Forces to use Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) facilities to station their troops and munitions as well as to set up their own exclusive facilities to be made accessible to Philippine authorities but subject to US-determined “operational safety and security considerations”. Obama’s Manila trip also coincides with revitalized attempts to amend the Philippine constitution in order to remove restrictions to foreign investments and thus pave the way for the Philippines’ joining the TPPA.

The move to “rebalance” towards Asia is both to escalate US military intervention and to secure US economic interests as stated in Sustaining US Global Leadership, Priorities for 21st Century Defense, a Department of Defense strategic guidance document. The US seeks to dominate strategic sea lanes, control the sources and flow of strategic resources such as oil, and force countries in this vast global region to accede to neoliberal economic impositions.

The US “strategic pivot” to Asia involves not only the further deployment of military forces but a broad-spectrum offensive that includes, among other objectives, forging the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, a mega-free trade agreement favorable to the US-led imperialist alliance, and strengthening its strategic military alliances with its old allies while forging new ones.

The US is aggressively seeking more basing opportunities, access agreements, mutual defense pacts, and bilateral and multilateral military exercises in the region. US treaty allies such as Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Australia are being made to host an increasing number of US troops and naval as well as air force assets.

As the US reels from its own fiscal crisis, it is making its treaty allies shoulder the rising cost of its self-assigned role as global policeman. The US is passing on to its treaty allies the increasing cost — monetarily and socially — of hosting US military forces including but not limited to paying for new bases construction, upgrades and maintenance; absorbing consequent environmental degradation and destruction; and dealing with a slew of social problems such as prostitution of women and children, drug trafficking, abandoned Amerasian children and various violent crimes such as rape, homicide and murder.

In South Korea, the US is preparing to use the military base being constructed by the Korean government in Jeju Island near China. Similarly, in the Philippines, it is expected to use a naval base now being constructed by the Philippine government in Oyster Bay, Palawan near the disputed Spratly group of islands. In Australia, some 200 to 250 US troops are being “rotated” but are considered based in Darwin Airbase. By 2014, the US expects to have 1,150 troops in Australia; the number is further expected to increase to 2,500 by 2016.

The US also exploits regional territorial disputes involving China, Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, pretending to help countries against China so as to have a pretext in operating US bases in these countries. The US is not interested in taking sides in territorial disputes in the South China Sea. It is only interested in gaining control of the sea lanes. The US would not risk open war with China in the near future as the US has far greater economic interests there compared to countries like the Philippines. This includes some USD 1.28 trillion in US debt to China.

The US continues to push countries to accept the TPPA to mitigate its own imperialist crisis. The trade pact’s details have largely been kept secret from the public, but main provisions are expected to require member-countries to remove any remaining barriers to investments, to strictly enforce intellectual property laws that would raise pharmaceutical costs and stifle digital innovation and freedom of expression, and to allow private corporations to sue states before an international tribunal—thus in effect obliging member-countries to surrender their national sovereignty to the imperialist masterminds of the TPPA.

The people of the world demand an end to US imperialism and its long history of wars and exploitation. We oppose US imperialism’s desperate efforts to entrench itself in the Asia-Pacific and other global regions through war and plunder. The people want to end the brutal regime of US bases, armed intervention, drone strikes, and other brazen violations of national and the people’s sovereignty. The people oppose highly damaging neoliberal economic dictates aimed at passing on the burden of the crisis of imperialism to the peoples of the world.

The people of Asia demand and aspire for peace, genuine development, and social justice, as opposed to imperialist wars and plunder.

No to US bases, and imperialist wars and intervention!
US troops out of Asia and the Pacific!
Resist neo-liberal economic dictates! Fight the TPPA!
Peoples of the world unite against imperialism and all reaction! Long live international solidarity!

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