Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Legalized Murder and the Politics of Terror

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Police officers carry out random acts of legalized murder against poor people of color not because they are racist, although they may be, or even because they are rogue cops, but because impoverished urban communities have evolved into miniature police states.

Police can stop citizens at will, question and arrest them without probable cause, kick down doors in the middle of the night on the basis of warrants for nonviolent offenses, carry out wholesale surveillance, confiscate property and money and hold people—some of them innocent—in county jails for years before forcing them to accept plea agreements that send them to prison for decades. They can also, largely with impunity, murder them.

Those who live in these police states, or internal colonies, especially young men of color, endure constant fear and often terror. Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” calls those trapped in these enclaves members of a criminal “caste system.” This caste system dominates the lives of not only the 2.3 million who are incarcerated in the United States but also the 4.8 million on probation or parole. Millions more are forced into “permanent second-class citizenship” by their criminal records, which make employment, higher education and public assistance, including housing, difficult and usually impossible to obtain. This is by design.

The rhetoric of compassion, even outrage, by the political class over the police murders in Baton Rouge, La., and near St. Paul, Minn., will not be translated into change until the poor are granted full constitutional rights and police are accountable to the law. The corporate state, however, which is expanding the numbers of poor through austerity and deindustrialization, has no intention of instituting anything more than cosmetic reform. 

Globalizationhas created a serious problem of “surplus” or “redundant” labor in deindustrialized countries. The corporate state has responded to the phenomenon of “surplus” labor with state terror and mass incarceration. It has built a physical and legal mechanism that lurks like a plague bacillus within the body politic to be imposed, should wider segments of society resist, on all of us.

The physics of human nature dictates that the longer the state engages in indiscriminate legalized murder, especially when those killings can be documented on video or film and disseminated to the public, the more it stokes the revenge assassinations we witnessedin Dallas. This counterviolence serves the interests of the corporate state. The murder of the five Dallas police officers allows the state to deify its blue-uniformed enforcers, demonize those who protest police killings and justify greater measures of oppression, often in the name of reform.

This downward spiral of violence and counterviolence will not be halted until the ruling ideology of neoliberalismis jettisoned and the corporate state is dismantled. Violence and terror, as corporate capitalism punishes greater and greater segments of the population, are, and will remain, the essential tools for control.

No one, with the exception of the elites, champions neoliberal policies. Citizens do not want their jobs shipped overseas, their schools and libraries closed, their pension and retirement funds looted, programs such as Social Security and welfare cut, government bailouts of Wall Street, or militarized police forces patrolling their neighborhoods as if they were foreign armies of occupation—which in many ways they are. These policies have to be forced on a reluctant public. This is accomplished only through propaganda, including censorship, and coercion.

Unfortunately, all the calls by the political class for reform in the wake of recent murders by police will make things worse. Reform has long been a subterfuge for expanded police repression. This insidious process is documented in Naomi Murakawa’s book “The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America.” [Click hereto see excerpts at Google Books.]

Murakawa wrote that lawmakers, especially liberal lawmakers, “confronted racial violence as an administrative deficiency.” Thus, they put in place “more procedures and professionalization” to “define acceptable use of force.” They countered the mob violence of lynching, she points out, with a system of state-sanctioned murder, or capital punishment. “The liberal’s brand of racial criminalization and administrative deracialization legitimized extreme penal harm to African-Americans: the more carceral machinery was rights-based and rule-bound, the more racial disparity was isolatable to ‘real’ black criminality.” In other words, the state was “permitted limitless violence so long as it conformed to clearly defined laws, administrative protocol, and due process,” while those who were the victims of this violence were said to be at fault because of their supposed criminal propensities.

The so-called “professionalization” of the police, the standard response to police brutality, has always resulted in more resources,militarized weaponsand money given to the police. It has been accompanied, at the same time, by less police accountability and greater police autonomy to strip citizens of their rights as well as an expansion of the use of lethal force.

If the state of siege of our inner cities were lifted, if prisoners were allowed to return to their communities and if evictions, which destroy the cohesion and solidarity of a neighborhood, were to end, the corporate state would face a rebellion. And the corporate state knows it. It needs to maintain these pod-like police states if it is to continue the relentless drive to further impoverish the country in the name of austerity. The continued cutting or closing of the few social services that keep people from facing total destitution, the massive unemployment that is never addressed, the despair, the hopelessness, the retreat into drugs and alcohol to blunt the pain, the heavy burden of debt peonage that sees families evicted, the desperate struggle to make money from the illegal economy and the forced bankruptcies all are about social control. And they work.

The state insists that to combat the “lawlessness” of those it has demonized it must be emancipated from the constraints of the law. The unrestricted and arbitrary subjugation of one despised group, stripped of equality before the law, conditions the police to employ brutal tactics against the wider society.

“Laws that are not equal for all revert to rights and privileges, something contradictory to the very nature of nation-states,” Hannah Arendtwrote. “The clearer the proof of their inability to treat stateless people as legal persons and the greater the extension of arbitrary rule by police decree, the more difficult it is for states to resist the temptation to deprive all citizens of legal status and rule them with an omnipotent police.”

The miniature police states are laboratories. They give the corporate state the machinery, legal justification and expertise to strip the entire country of rights, wealth and resources. And this, in the end, is the goal of neoliberalism. 

Neoliberalism, like all utopian ideologies, requires the banishment of empathy. The inability to feel empathy is the portal to an evil often carried out in the name of progress. A world without empathy rejects as an absurdity the call to love your neighbor as yourself. It elevates the cult of the self. It divides the world into winners and losers. It celebrates power and wealth. Those who are discarded by the corporate state, especially poor people of color, are viewed as life unworthy of life. They are denied the dignity of work and financial autonomy. They are denied an education and proper medical care, meaning many die from preventable illnesses. They are criminalized. They are trapped from birth to death in squalid police states. And they are blamed for their own misery.

Disenfranchised white workers, also the victims of deindustrialization and neoliberalism, flock to Donald Trump rallies stunted by this lack of empathy. The hatred of the other offers them a sense of psychological protection. For, if they saw themselves in those they demonized, if they could express empathy, they would have to accept that what is being done to poor people of color can, and perhaps will, be done to them. This truth is too hard to accept. It is easier to blame the victims.

Our political elites, rather than addressing the crisis, will make it worse. If we do not revolt, the savagery, including legalized murder, that is the daily reality for poor people of color will become our reality. We must overthrow the corporate state. We must free ourselves from the poisonous ideology of neoliberalism. If we remain captive we will soon endure the nightmare that afflicts our neighbor.

US Income Inequality Reaches Highest Level In History

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Income Inequality
A new study by economist Emmanuel Saez claims that the top 1% income earners in the United States hit a new high in 2015. The study used data from the IRS to show “families at or near the top of the income ladder did substantially better in 2015 than those below them. The share of income going to the top 10 percent of income earners—those making on average about $300,000 a year—increased to 50.5 percent in 2015 from 50.0 percent in 2014, the highest ever except for 2012.”
Saez concludes that the 2013 tax increases had no substantive effect on reducing inequality beyond a “dip in pre-tax income earned by the top one percent in 2013” as “by 2015 top incomes are once again on the rise—following a pattern of growing income inequality stretching back to the 1970s.”
In other words, while President Obama claimed in 2013 that income inequality was the “defining challenge of our time,” his policies have made no meaningful contribution to addressing it.
Economic inequality is not only getting worse, but it may arguably be worse than it has ever been. At least that is the conclusion of economists Peter Lindert and Jeffrey Williamson, who write in a new book that income inequality today is the worst it has ever been in all of American history.
The larger historical argument is problematic, as it starts with colonial America and goes through the time of slavery, where the analysis includes food and shelter for slaves as compensation, but the trend is undeniable. With a few exceptions, contemporary America is unrivaled in its level of economic inequality.
Lindert and Williamson come to conclusions through their long-view historical analysis similar to those of other scholars, restricting their study to the previous decades. Rent-seeking through the financial system provided the rich of America—old and new—with break away wealth. In earlier periods, it was the industrialists and land speculators running away with the gains, whereas today it is derivatives traders and hedge fund managers.
At least the robber barons of old left a railroad or two when the bubble burst. The plutocrats of today leave nothing but heartache once the pillaging is done.
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The police killings in Louisiana and Minnesota: The class issues

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Millions of people around the world have reacted with shock, outrage and revulsion at the latest videos and images of police murder in the United States. Thousands of people took part in demonstrations throughout the US Thursday, with more scheduled today.
The final horrific moments of Alton Sterling, 37, and Philando Castile, 32, have been watched and shared millions of times on Facebook and other social media. On July 5, Sterling was shot by police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at least three times at point-blank range as he was pinned down to the ground. The next day, Castile was shot at least four times during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, as his girlfriend and child watched helplessly. Both Sterling and Castile were African American.
Less publicized in the media were two other killings that underscore the pervasiveness of police violence in America, and the fact that it is not only African Americans who are targeted. On Thursday, a cell phone video was published by the Fresno Bee showing the police killing of 19-year-old Dylan Noble in Fresno, California on June 25. Noble, who was white and unarmed, can be seen lying on the ground motionless as police fire multiple bullets downward into his motionless body. This past weekend, police in Fullerton, California shot and killed 19-year-old Pedro Erik Villanueva, a Hispanic youth who was also unarmed, after a car chase.
The killing of Sterling and Castile, like almost all of the other 600 police killings that have taken place so far this year, and the thousands since the Obama administration took office, would have been “swe[pt] in the dirt” (to use the phrase of Quinyetta McMillon, the mother of one of Mr. Sterling’s children) had they not been recorded by bystanders on cell phone cameras.
It is now nearly two years since the killing of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014 sparked nationwide protests against police violence. However, despite the pledges of “reform” and cynical professions of concern from the political establishment when one or another killing sparks protests, the reign of violence continues unabated. Indeed, the number of killings so far this year exceeds the number of Americans killed up to this point in 2015.
Certain conclusions must be drawn. It is impossible to understand the epidemic of police violence without understanding the reality of American capitalism. The United States is characterized by vast and growing social inequality, in which mass poverty and joblessness coexist with the almost unfathomable enrichment of a financial oligarchy. While one in seven Americans falls below the official poverty line, 400 individuals control $2.34 trillion dollars.
The same ruling class that is waging a relentless war on the working class is engaged in unspeakable violence all over the world. Domestic and foreign policy are not separated by an iron wall. The methods used abroad are increasingly being deployed to deal with the social crisis at home. Within the overall apparatus of state repression, the police, armed to the teeth with the most modern weaponry, play a central role.
Police violence is essentially a class question. Understanding that opposition to police violence threatens to become the catalyst for a broader mobilization of the working class, politicians and the media have rushed to present the killing of Sterling and Castile as motivated exclusively by racism.
Racism no doubt plays a role in many police killings. However, the claim that police violence can be solely explained in racial terms is self-contradictory and untenable. While African Americans are disproportionately victimized by of police violence, half of those killed by police are white, according to an analysis by the Washington Post. In many cases, such as in the killing of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, the officers themselves are black or Hispanic. In some cities with the worst police violence, such as Baltimore and Philadelphia, a majority of police officers are minorities, and local governments are headed by black police chiefs, black city council members and black mayors.
Perhaps most significantly, the unending stream of police murders has taken place under the presidency of Barack Obama, an African American. The Obama administration has used federal investigations to whitewash police killings, has sided with the police in every use-of-force case brought before the Supreme Court and continues to oversee the transfer of military weaponry to local police forces throughout the country.
The Obama White House presided over the deployment of militarized police and National Guard to crack down on demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014 and Baltimore, Maryland last year following the killings of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray.
Speaking in Warsaw, Poland on Thursday, Obama defended the police while seeking to present the killings in racial terms. He pointed to “biases across the criminal justice system” that make it so, “black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents.” He added, “If communities are mistrustful of the police, it makes the officers—who are doing a great job—that’s making their jobs harder.”
Obama’s statements came the same day that the New York Times, which has in recent weeks stepped up its campaign to bury the issues of social inequality in the United States, ran a column entitled “Alton Sterling and When Black Lives Stop Mattering,” presenting the killings as the result of a “world where too many people have their fingers on the triggers of guns aimed directly at black people.”
Another column, posted on the Times’ web site Thursday night, insisted that “white America” will “never understand” the experience of “a nation of nearly 40 million black souls inside a nation of more than 320 million people.”
Such statements are aimed at undermining the instinctive feelings of solidarity felt by workers of all races to the events of this past week, while at the same time channeling opposition along channels that pose no threat to the ruling class and the economic system that it defends.
The United States is on the verge of major social and political convulsions. Over the past year, the growing political radicalization of workers and young people has found reflection in the support for Bernie Sanders, who presented himself as a socialist and focused his campaign on questions of social inequality and the power of the “billionaire class.” As Sanders moves to endorse Clinton and seek to convince his supporters to back the candidate of Wall Street and the military-intelligence apparatus, the media and Democratic Party are seeking to change the subject: from social inequality to race and identity politics.
The speed with which the media and political establishment have sought to present police killings as merely a matter of race reflects the fear that widespread opposition to police violence might be linked up with the growing social and political radicalization of the working class.
But this is precisely what is required. The fight against police violence, like the defense of all democratic rights, can only be taken forward on the basis of a struggle to unify the working class of all races and ethnicities in a common struggle against the capitalist system.

US planners prepare air war on China

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A report published this month by the US-based Mitchell Institute has provided details of US Air Force (USAF) plans to use sophisticated “fifth generation” stealth aircraft in combat operations in an all-out war with China. These preparations are part of a far broader US military build-up throughout the Indo-Pacific that envisages the basing of 60 percent of warships and aircraft in the region by 2020.
The authors of the report are serving USAF officers directly engaged in strategic planning, including for the deployment of “fifth generation” aircraft, particularly the F-22 Raptor and different versions of the F-35. Major General Jeff Harrigian currently heads the Air Force F-35A Integration Office at the Pentagon, having previously served as assistant deputy chief of staff for operations. Colonel Max Marosko, a F-22 pilot, is the deputy director of air and cyberspace operations at Pacific Command in Hawaii.
The report entitled, “Fifth Generation Air Combat: Maintaining the Joint Force Advantage,” declares that these aircraft are “a key element in US power projection in the 21st Century.” The F-22 and F-35 are designed to not only evade detection but “provide situational awareness of a conflict that is unparalleled in modern war, and lethal tools that enable both aircraft and capabilities in other domains to perform at a higher level.”
The war planes are packed with sensors and advanced electronics that provide greater “situational awareness” to their pilots, and to those of less-advanced fourth generation aircraft. The F-22 and F-35 are also able to jam or confuse enemy defence systems, enabling them to operate effectively “in highly contested combat environments, defined by the presence of the most capable current air and ground threats, and those reasonably expected to be operational in the foreseeable future.”
Air Combat Command chief General Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle declared last year that the F-22, which became operational a decade ago, “has even exceeded our expectations.” He boasted that the fifth generation aircraft gave the US “the asymmetric advantage we need to win our nation’s wars.”
In July 2013, Foreign Policy reported Carlisle’s plans for a huge build-up of US war planes and personnel throughout Asia, including in northern Australia, “Changi East air base in Singapore, Korat air base in Thailand, a site in India and possibly bases at Kubi Point and Puerto Princesa in the Philippines, in Indonesia and Malaysia.” The article also pointed out that old World War II bases in the Pacific, such as on Tinian Island in the North Marianas, were in the process of refurbishment.
Carlisle said the Air Force would “rotate” its “most capable platforms” into the Pacific, including F-22s, F-35s and B-2 stealth bombers. He noted that the first permanent deployment basefor the F-35 would be in Asia.
The Mitchell Institute report spells out in greater detail how the fifth generation war planes will be deployed and used in combat. While China is not named, no one is in any doubt that it would be the chief enemy. In a section entitled, “Seizing the Advantage,” the report outlines a war scenario set in 2026, in which F-22s and F-35s would be rapidly dispersed to “numerous military and civilian airfields” throughout the region so that the enemy is unable to deliver a “knock-out” blow.
“As combat operations begin, US military fifth generation aircraft, along with F-35s from coalition countries effectively integrate and collaborate in the opening phase of operations,” the report explains. “[F]ighting focuses on the battle for air superiority as aircraft from both sides clash over contested territory … As the operations continue, it becomes apparent stealth aircraft like the F-22, F-35, B-2 and B-21 are the only aircraft capable of operating over the contested territory in the conflict due to the large number of adversary mobile advanced Surface to Air (SAMs) deployed …
“As the conflict continues, fifth generation aircraft seek out, degrade and destroy SAMs in contested territory, creating a more moderate threat environment. This enables legacy [older] aircraft to operate alongside their fifth generation counterparts. The mature integration and full operational capacities of fourth and fifth generation aircraft working together proves the turning point in the conflict.”
The scenario makes clear the critical role of allies and strategic partners in the Asia Pacific, not only to provide access to air bases and ground support for the USAF, but also in the case of countries like Australia and Japan, to join the US in carrying out combat operations with their own fifth generation war plans. The report as a whole stresses the need for the close integration and “interoperability” of the US and its allies, including regular war games to ensure their militaries can function seamlessly together.
The report highlights the key role of northern Australian airfields in providing a relatively secure rear base to maintain and repair fifth generation aircraft. Its scenario declares: “In one instance, a USAF F-35 is forced to recover at an Australian F-35 airbase after an inflight malfunction makes it impossible to return to its original deployment location. Royal Australian Air Force maintenance technicians are able to quickly repair, rearm, and refuel the USAF F-35 in a manner similar to US maintenance and regeneration practices. The F-35 in question rejoins combat operations the next day.”
The scenario outlined is for nothing less than a massive air attack on the Chinese mainland, spearheaded by stealth war planes, and operating in intimate collaboration with allies like Australia. A relentless air assault is one component of the Pentagon’s AirSea Battle strategy for fighting a war with China. The air attacks would be complemented by missiles fired from bases, warships and submarines based off the Chinese mainland with the aim of destroying much of the Chinese military, communications, command centres and key industrial sites. AirSea Battle also envisages a naval blockade designed to cripple the Chinese economy.
The Mitchell Institute report underscores the advanced nature of US preparations for war with China. While the scenario is set a decade ahead, many of the measures advocated by the report—joint training, access to numerous airfields, the stationing of advanced aircraft, warships and submarines in the Asia Pacific—are already well advanced. Having immeasurably heightened tensions throughout the region over the past six years, the US determined to be able to take advantage of any incident in the regional flashpoints, which it has deliberately inflamed, to advance its aims of subordinating China to American interests.

The Chilcot verdict on Iraq: A war crime by British and US imperialism

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The report of the Chilcot inquiry into the role of the British government in the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, released Wednesday, provides devastating confirmation of the illegal character of the war and the criminal role of those officials, both British and American, who organized and led it.
The conclusions of the investigation headed by Sir John Chilcot were issued seven years after the inquiry was first convened. The 2.6 million-word, 13-volume report covers the policy decisions made by the British government, military and intelligence services between 2001 and 2009. The inquiry has no legal powers, and any finding on the legality of the invasion was specifically ruled out by the Labour government of Gordon Brown that established it.
Nonetheless, the report provides conclusive proof that those responsible for the war have the blood of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, on their hands.
This applies not only to then-Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair, who functioned in Britain as liar-in-chief for the invasion and, as such, features heavily in the report. By extension, it is also an indictment of the principal architects of the war in the United States: former President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others, as well as all those leading officials who supported it, including the Democratic Party’s current presumptive presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Personal testimony, confidential documents and private memos confirm that Blair opted to support a US-war against Iraq that was prepared at least from the start of 2002, all while publicly claiming that there were no such plans.
The invasion that began on March 20, 2003 took place before “peaceful options for disarmament” had been exhausted, Chilcot notes. Damningly, he states, “Military action at that time was not a last resort.”
Iraq’s Saddam Hussein did not present an “imminent” threat at the time, and claims that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction were “not justified.” The invasion was launched on the basis of “flawed” intelligence assessments that were not challenged when they should have been, Chilcot states.
These facts in and of themselves demonstrate that the invasion was a brazen violation of international law. But the reality is far more incriminating.
The Chilcot report includes a declassified version of the so-called Downing Street Memo, memorializing a July 2002 meeting between Blair and other top officials in which the head of British intelligence explicitly acknowledged that “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”
In other words, a false pretext was being manufactured to justify an unprovoked war, and they all knew it.
The legal case for UK military action was “far from satisfactory,” Chilcot states. Moreover, while Blair was attacking France for failing to support a second United Nations Security Council resolution authorising military action, “we [the inquiry] consider that the UK was, in fact, undermining the Security Council’s authority.”
The report finds that the invasion failed in its stated objectives. It notes, “The risks of internal strife in Iraq, active Iranian pursuit of its interests, regional instability, and al-Qaida activity in Iraq were each explicitly identified before the invasion.”
Not only were 176 British soldiers killed (along with 4,491 US troops) and many thousands horribly wounded, “The people of Iraq have suffered greatly.” According to the most reliable estimates, the number of Iraqi lives lost as a result of the war stands at roughly 1 million. An estimated 5 million more people were driven from their homes. The country remains embroiled in bloody sectarian conflict and extreme economic and social hardship.
Of all those arraigned before the International Criminal Court Hague over recent years, such as Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, none are responsible for even a fraction of the deaths caused by Blair and Bush.
The Chilcot inquiry is an indictment of the policy pursued by US and British imperialism over the past 15 years. Its genocidal dimensions are made apparent from the catastrophes inflicted on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, which have served only to strengthen sectarianism and Islamic fundamentalism.
The verdict should be clear enough: Blair, Bush, et al are war criminals. They, along with their co-conspirators, should face immediate trial.
The Nuremberg Trials convened following the Second World War were clear and unequivocal in their principal conclusion: the use of war to achieve political ends that cannot be justified by imminent threat of attack constitutes the most heinous of war crimes. Bush and Blair are as culpable as the 12 Nazi defendants sentenced to death by hanging.
The Chilcot findings include previously secret memos from Blair to Bush (those sent from Bush to Blair were kept secret at Washington’s request) that make clear that the real motive behind the war was not the threat of weapons of mass destruction or terrorism, but, as was the case with the leaders of the Third Reich, global domination. Within days of the invasion, Blair exulted in the act of military aggression, declaring it a chance to establish “the true post-Cold War world order.”
The reactions of many of the families of British soldiers killed in the Iraq conflict bear repeating. Sarah O’Connor, whose brother Bob died in Iraq in 2005, said, “There is one terrorist in this world that the world needs to be aware of, and his name is Tony Blair, the world’s worst terrorist.”
Roger Bacon, whose son Matthew was killed in Basra, said, “Never again must so many mistakes be allowed to sacrifice British lives and lead to the destruction of a country for no positive end.”
Mark Thompson, father of Kevin, killed in 2007, said Blair “should be stripped of everything he has for what he’s done. It was an illegal war. My son died in vain. He died for no reason.”
Blair knew “he was manufacturing and massaging” intelligence, said Reg Keys, whose son Thomas was killed, while Eddie Hancock, whose son Jamie also died, called for Blair to “be banned from any form of public office for life, at the very least.”
Such honest and heartfelt statements stand in stark contrast to the response of the powers-that-be, who are trying to conceal the implications of the inquiry and turn it into a framework for waging more efficient wars in the future.
Prime Minister David Cameron claimed that, whatever the consequences of Iraq, it is “wrong to conclude that intervention is always wrong.”
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was the most craven apologist of all. Lamenting the “disastrous decision” to invade Iraq, he said it had left a “stain” on the Labour Party. Not so much of a stain, however, that Corbyn felt obliged to even mention Blair’s name, let alone moot his expulsion from the Labour Party.
This cleared the path for Blair’s arrogant and belligerent response to the report, in which he sought not only to defend past crimes, but to justify new ones. “The world was and is, in my judgment, a better place without Saddam Hussein,” he said.
In a statement issued from his Texas ranch, ex-US President George W. Bush echoed Blair’s remarks, declaring that “the whole world is better off without Saddam Hussein.”
What these murderous sociopaths are saying is that the “world is better off” without the 1 million people annihilated by their war.
The response to the inquiry’s findings by not only Bush and Blair, but the entire political establishment on both sides of the Atlantic, makes plain that the fight for truth and justice—and compensation for the Iraqi people—can proceed only in struggle against the capitalist ruling class.
The Chilcot report has been released against the backdrop of an escalation of imperialist militarism, not only in the Middle East, but increasingly against Russia and China as well. The preparations for a Third World War have advanced rapidly during the seven years of the commission’s deliberations.