Sunday, November 10, 2019

ROL, USA NEWSLETTER #116 (SEPT-OCT 2019)

September/October 2019

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U.S. Empire in Decline Underscores Need for New Communist International 
 
The State of the Union Under the Trump Regime
on Labor Day 2019
by RAY LIGHT

Here in the USA, Labor Day signifies the unofficial end of summer and the wake-up call to working people that we need to get focused back on the grind of our work and our “real life” under capitalism.

On the basis of its global political, economic, diplomatic and, most of all, military domination, backed by a mostly loyal, tamed and domesticated populace, including its working class, for at least five of the recent six post World War II decades, the Wall Street ruling class has almost uninterruptedly extracted super profits from the international working class and the oppressed peoples and dependent countries around the globe. These super profits, in turn, enabled the U.S. ruling class to amass overwhelming political-economic power in relation to the U.S. working class and the oppressed nationalities and peoples within the U.S. state boundaries. Thus today our conditions on the job as well as in our homes and our communities are circumscribed, are largely dictated, by the fact that, as the hegemonic imperialist power, U.S. monopoly capitalism and imperialism for at least several decades now has transformed the U.S. heartland into the very “belly” of the beast that is the U.S. Empire.

Around the time that Barack Obama was installed in the U.S. Presidency in 2008, Simon Johnson, the former chief economist for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), had shrewdly observed that: “the U.S. Government has been captured by the financial oligarchy.” Obama’s earliest decisions regarding the economic crisis that began in the USA at the end of George W. Bush’s presidency and extended around the world, as Obama became U.S. President, made it crystal clear that he (Obama) was an effective crisis manager for Wall Street. All the federal government bailout money (our tax money) went to the banks and financial institutions that were supposedly “too large to fail.” And not even one of the individual global financial criminal banksters leading them went to prison!!

Also, reflecting this utter domination by the U.S.-led financial oligarchy, the Obama-Biden government allowed the rules and regulations of the U.S. financial system to remain virtually intact. Meanwhile, there was no significant bail-out of the rest
of the more than 99% of the U.S. Population.*
*All of the above is a virtual guarantee that right now we are beginning to experience another recession/depression of at least similar magnitude. This time, however, most of the previously large U.S. middle class, that lost most of its privilege and economic reserves in the 2007-2010 crisis, has not been able to make a comeback in the decade since. For the most part, this middle class has itself been experiencing a mostly quiet desperation. Meanwhile, the U.S. working class, experiencing strong downward pressure largely caused by the ever intensifying brutal monopoly capitalist exploitation and oppression directed against the eleven million undocumented workers and their families (and millions more immigrants and Spanish-speakers) under Obama and now Trump, has not recovered from the wage losses and reversals of a decade ago. Moreover, the real wages of the U.S. working class have still not recovered to the level where they were forty-five years ago!!

After eight years of the Obama-Biden “lullabies,” no wonder so many U.S. voters, including many Obama voters, rejected both
the mainstream Republicans (Jeb Bush, Romney, etc.) and the mainstream Democrats (Hillary Clinton in particular) in the primaries and cast their votes in 2016 for the white supremacist candidate, Donald Trump. This was especially the case after the Democratic Party that was almost entirely funded and dominated by “Clinton Foundation” money for the eighteen months leading up to the election, rigged the Democratic Primaries in favor of Clinton and against Bernie Sanders. For had a presidential campaign against Trump continued Sanders’ mobilization of the voters around his social-democratic domestic program, then, if even only partially implemented by a President Sanders, it would have cost Wall Street a phenomenal amount of lost profits transferred to higher worker wages and benefits.*

*In keeping with his loyalty to the U.S. Empire and to Wall Street’s foreign policy featuring unending imperialist war, however, Sanders tried to carry out his betrayal of Sanders campaign activists by leading them into the dead-end Clinton Democratic Party campaign. Most didn’t follow him.

For his part, Trump obviously was not running for the Republican nomination in order to become President, but simply in order to get paid off in cash or quid pro quos by the Republican establishment wing of the U.S. Empire’s “Republicrat” political apparatus.  (Trump’s political guru, Roger Stone, admitted as much, openly expressing his own lack of interest in political issues and his single-minded devotion to accumulating as much individual wealth as possible. View the Netflix film documentary focused on the transparently shameless Stone, entitled, “Get Me Roger Stone.” Furthermore, after the election it was immediately clear that Trump had no kitchen cabinet preparing ahead of the election for filling any positions in his new “administration.”)

What had until recently been the unchallenged hegemonic global imperialist power, the U.S. Empire, had for decades controlled much of the rest of the world through “corrupt tin horn dictators.” Now the Empire’s heartland experienced blowback! For Trump was himself exactly such an ignorant and corrupt tin horn dictator. He was placed in the presidency under the two hundred year old electoral college rules to lead the U.S. Empire’s twenty-first-century global 

political-military-financial-economic apparatus!

We are now over two and one-half years into Donald Trump’s first four-year term as President. Let’s discuss some of the main features of life under this Regime today.

*****

The Current State of the Union

1. Wall Street’s Goldman Sachs, Trump’s Presidency, and the Rise of China:
Are any or all of them “too big to fail?!”

-Goldman Sachs, A Company for All (political) Seasons-

Following the 2008 Presidential Election, the Wall Street Princes nervously awaited Barack Obama’s inauguration. It seemed almost a certainty that some of them would be imprisoned for the corrupt, criminal conspiracies that sparked the collapse of the housing market and spawned a worldwide economic crisis, spreading misery among millions of ordinary folks around the world. The Wall Street ruling class was relieved when Obama immediately assured these global swindlers that he was on their side. His $800 billion dollar economic bailout of Wall Street was perhaps just a bit more lucrative than the approximately $800 billion that George W. Bush had just provided the Wall Street Princes as a farewell gift on his way out of the White House.* Of course, both ‘W’s” Secretary of the Treasury and Obama’s were drawn from Goldman Sachs. So it was no surprise when it turned out that Goldman Sachs received the largest share of the Presidential bailouts.

*W’s Secretary of the Treasury, Paulsen, later admitted publicly that he had no idea where that first $800 billion went!

Likewise, it was no surprise that Wall Street’s prohibitive favorite candidate in the 2016 presidential race, Democrat Hillary Clinton, received the generous speaking fee of $600 thousand dollars from the same Goldman Sachs for one “golden” speech. What may be more surprising to many readers is that Donald Trump, the upstart “populist billionaire,” as he was filling out all the key economic and financial positions of cabinet members and senior staff in his new Presidential Regime could not resist drawing almost all of them from the very same Goldman Sachs! So Goldman Sachs was clearly “too big (and well connected) to fail” in the 2007-2010 economic crisis and well into the Trump era.

-Trump’s Imperial Presidency-

The first two years of Trump’s imperial presidency were spent by Democrats in Congress and Democratic voters waiting and whining. They were waiting for former FBI Director Robert Mueller to make his Report. Meanwhile, Trump’s family dynasty mockingly flaunted its defiant deviation from all previous presidential “conduct.” While the cowardly and corrupt Democrats whined from the sidelines, Trump openly over-ruled the national security apparatus, giving Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and top adviser, access to top security clearance; Trump also simply refused to make his tax returns public. Moreover, he insisted that delegations from foreign countries coming to Washington, D.C. or elsewhere in the USA to meet with the U.S. President stay (and pay) at Trump Properties, one of many ways that the emoluments clause of the United States Constitution was openly violated by the Trump Dynasty. Trump also “believed” Russia’s Putin, North Korea’s Kim and China’s Xi and he disbelieved the entire U.S. intelligence community that was speaking ill of these three leaders of rival and allegedly “demonic” regimes! Trump stood by the Saudi Prince and the blood-soaked Saudi Royal Regime even in opposition to U.S. Congressional resolutions passed after it became undeniable that the Prince was a cold-blooded murderer of a U.S. resident working with/for the U.S. government.


Trump and Secretary of State Tillerson of Exxon-Mobil and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross worked in the cause of Russian oil sales and money-laundering, especially through Deutsche Bank, the dominant German bank. Indeed, Deutsche Bank over the previous two decades had loaned Trump and his companies over 2.5 billion “… during a period when most Wall Street banks had stopped doing business with him after his repeated defaults.” And when he became U.S. President, Trump owed the German bank over $500 million, making it his biggest creditor. At the same time, however, Trump’s main business and government confederates, daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, were working major business deals with top Chinese officials, Ivanka in exclusive fashion branding markets and Jared in big real estate deals—which the obsessively anti-Russian Democrats, believing their own propaganda, apparently did not notice.

When the Mueller Report finally appeared, it turned out that the FBI man used an obscure Justice Department ruling to find that Trump, as President, is indeed “above the law,” i.e. “too big to fail.” On this tenuous “legal” basis, Mueller refused to even consider prosecuting Trump for his obvious obstruction of justice! As a key operative of the U.S. Empire, Mueller, with his investigative team, no doubt would have operated quite differently had Trump failed to deliver the tax cuts for the super-rich. That one success with Congress has bought Trump time from the Wall Street ruling class.

But the Tariff War against China may prove to be too much for Wall Street to forgive or forget.

-Trump’s Tariff War Against China, the Rising World Power-

Trump, on his own initiative, started the current trade war with China. Along with his silly promise that it would be “easy to win” the results up to now show that Trump is clearly out of his league. George Will, the Washington Post syndicated columnist, is one of the rare U.S. conservative thinkers with some depth.

He quit the Republican Party when Trump got the 2016 nomination and has written more critically about the Trump Regime than most liberal Democratic Party hacks. In an August 25 piece, entitled, “Trade war shows the reality of  ‘America First’ in action,” Will makes some cogent points about Trump’s Tariff war against China. He explains that: “Trump’s tariffs make U.S. goods more expensive, thereby dampening U.S. consumer activity.” This is because “... over 60% of U.S. imports are used by businesses in their products and production processes.” Referring to the protective tariffs as “import taxes” Will cites a J.P. Morgan estimate that it will cost the average U.S. household around $1,000 a year. Accordingly, says Will, this Trump tax increase is more important to the average American than Trump’s (Congress’) tax cut. Based on the above, the Financial Times recalls “... hundreds of U.S. Companies and trade associations said in a joint communique in June that the proposed duties would cause the loss of two million jobs and reduce U.S. economic output by 1%.”

Will concludes that “Uncertainties infused into the global economy by the trade war between the world’s two largest national economies probably have helped to produce a global slowdown and fears ... of an approaching recession.” Will finds humor in the fact that this latter point may help get Federal Reserve chairman Powell to go along with Trump’s “improper” demand that the “independent” Federal Reserve Board cut its interest rates. Says George Will, such a recession would be “an interestingly injurious carom—a win, of a perverse sort—from this trade war.” That is, it is a win for the super-rich since it will serve to prop up the super-rich, including Trump, Inc.

In a more angry and alarmist column, entitled, “ The Trade War’s Winners Don’t Include Us,” (Wall Street Journal, 9-5-19) Robert Zoellick, former World Bank president, U.S. Trade representative and deputy secretary of state, points out that Trump’s tariffs have provoked world-wide retaliation hurting America’s most productive businesses and farmers. Zoellick reports: “In two years, the president has increased the average tariff on Chinese goods to 24%, up from an average of 3%. Americans will end up paying these in the form of higher prices.” (My emphasis, ROL) Moreover, “... with increased costs and uncertainties about doing business in the U.S. foreign direct investment is falling. This suppresses job and wage growth and disrupts international supply chains.”

Zoellick enumerates relations among and between countries around the world that are more difficult now because of the U.S.-China trade war. Zoellick also points out that the Chinese leadership’s retaliation “carefully excluded almost one-third of U.S. exports because Beijing recognizes, as Mr. Trump does not, that higher taxes on inputs hurt a nation’s global competitiveness.” (My emphasis, ROL)

Zoellick observes that “Not since Herbert Hoover has a U.S. President so openly embraced trade protectionism.” And Zoellick takes the Washington Post to task for being too easy on Trump’s trade failure. While the Post referred to the administration’s “mixed success” on trade, Zoellick counters, “What success?” Says Zoellick, “Even by the president’s own measure, the U.S. trade deficit, he’s losing. If the U.S. slides into recession, his policies will make conditions worse. Congress needs to wake up and push back. Business executives should support them before the trade smashup leads to an economic breakdown.”

It appears that Trump, the neighborhood bully, is overmatched. It is the rising Chinese power today that appears “too big to fail!” Clearly, Trump has lost much of his support on Wall Street. How much longer will the real U.S. rulers allow the tinhorn dictator to continue?! And, with the explosive growth of the power of the executive branch and the imperial presidency in the U.S. Government over the past few decades — under the Bushes, the Clintons and Obama and now Trump, what state of emergency will the Trump Regime fabricate or foment in order to fight to retain power?!

2. On the State of the Labor Unions and the Working Class in the USA

Currently, the scandal involving the corrupt relationship between the leadership of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) and Big Auto in the USA (Ford, GM and Fiat-Chrysler) is growing wider and deeper. Clearly, the corporate media is promoting the scandal now in an effort to undermine the union negotiations with the domestic Big Three oligopolies and especially to shake the confidence of the auto workers in their own level of unity.

Nevertheless, already there have been eight convictions, including a prison term for Fiat Chrysler’s former head of labor relations and the conviction of former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell who led bargaining with Fiat-Chrysler. This corrupt collaboration between the highest ranks of the UAW and top executives of Fiat-Chrysler expose how weak much of the U.S. labor movement leadership is, how miserably it serves its membership while effectively serving the U.S. monopoly capitalists and imperialists at the workers’ expense.

No wonder the AFL-CIO top leadership has been “missing in action” (MIA) while arguably the most scandalous Secretary of Labor in U.S. history, Alexander Acosta, functioned with virtually no resistance from the labor movement. A decade before his appointment as Labor Secretary by President Trump, Acosta, as federal attorney in South Florida, had provided multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein an incredibly light plea agreement for the serial child molestation/sex trafficking charges brought against him by dozens of young women and girls, charges that could have kept him in prison for the rest of his life. Thanks to Acosta, Epstein, a friend of Trump and Bill Clinton, among others, received a 13 month sentence in a Palm Beach jail guarded by people employed by him and was allowed to leave for twelve hours per day six days a week “to go to his Palm Beach office.” It was arguably the mildest “sentence” for such crimes in U.S. History.

And Acosta was duly rewarded for his leniency toward the multimillionaire. President Trump appointed Acosta the Secretary of Labor at the head of the U.S. Labor department, the top job in the U.S. Government that oversees child labor laws including the protection of children from sex trafficking!

No wonder, too, that Secretary of Labor Acosta, as the savior of the sexual slaver Epstein, was silent on Trump’s federal government shutdown last December and January. In particular, his silence on Trump’s order that thousands of federal employees report to work without pay during the shutdown was deafening. Otherwise, how can we explain how the top officials of the AFL-CIO never raised a peep about this modern version of involuntary servitude in the United States!

Meanwhile, over the past year, a courageous woman reporter for the Miami Herald kept digging and reporting. In February of this year, a Judge ruled that Acosta, as prosecuting attorney in Florida, had broken the law years ago when he failed to disclose the sweetheart plea agreement he gave Epstein to the young women and girls (and their attorneys) who had brought the charges against Epstein.

A month ago or so Epstein was arrested and jailed in New York by the U.S. Attorney for Southern New York on charges similar to the South Florida charges. On the day after voluminous materials from his previous Florida court case were leaked to the press, with damaging testimony about many of his ruling class friends, Epstein was found hanging in his New York City cell; and Acosta, hung out to dry by President Trump, resigned from Trump’s cabinet.

*****

One bright spot in the U.S. Labor movement this year was the successful push-back by many federal workers who began to refuse to report to their jobs in defiance of Trump’s “orders” for them to work with no promise of pay! This included Air Traffic Controllers as well as TSA’s in the metropolitan NYC area. This trend clearly was leading to the strategically important U.S. commercial airline industry being ground to a halt! Playing a key solidarity role was Sarah Nelson, the dynamic young President of the Airline Flight Attendants Union. Sister Nelson, already a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council and concerned about the safety of her members and other airline workers and passengers, raised the possibility of a General Strike of workers around the Trump government shut-down. In one of his rare retreats thus far in his presidency, in the face of the growing worker insurgency, Trump stopped his government shut down and no more has been heard about it.

Just now, in a Labor Day interview, when asked if she is considering a run to lead the AFL-CIO, sister Nelson basically said she would do what is needed to serve the working class and the labor movement. Sarah Nelson is definitely a bright emerging leader of the U.S. labor movement.
And it sorely needs her and other militant leaders who care about the workers they represent and the rest of the working class at home and globally.

*****

 

The fact remains, however, that President Trump had appointed Acosta as his Secretary of Labor with Acosta’s resume featuring his unprecedented defense of Epstein, a serial sex trafficker. And Trump, in his provocative federal government shutdown at the beginning of this year, did attempt to compel thousands of workers to work without pay in another modern update of human slavery. And chieftains of  U.S. Organized labor did not even attempt to punish Trump for any of it. Given the mid-twentieth century history of fascism with its forced slave labor camps in Germany and elsewhere, this whole question of the status of labor, slave or free, has once again been raised up here and now by the Trump Regime. Will the U.S. Labor movement develop the capacity to make a decisive break with the Trump regime, and beyond that, a break with the Wall Street ruling class, its “Republicrat” politicians and the U.S. Empire?!

3. On the Question of War and Peace

When Trump assumed the U.S. Presidency, I had predicted that at least in the early part of his term he would be less bellicose toward the rest of the world than Hillary Clinton and her Democratic Regime would have been. This is exactly what occurred.*

*Indeed, I observed that the rest of the international working class outside the U.S. Borders (as well as imperialist partner-rivals and other countries’ governments) could take advantage of this at least temporary respite from the overwhelmingly aggressive and violent U.S. Empire’s foreign policy under Reagan, the Bushes, the Clintons, and Obama.

In fact, less than two months ago, the Wall Street Journal published an article, entitled, “The Strangely Dovish Donald Trump” (WSJ, July 6-7, 2019). There WSJ editor at large Gerard Baker observed, “Mr. Trump has not only launched fewer military interventions than any of his recent predecessors at this stage of their presidencies but has repeatedly sought a reduction in America’s military presence in the Greater Middle East.”

Dramatically underscoring this point have been Trump’s announcements and actions as well as the reactions of the “Republicrats” of both wings of the Wall Street war party in relation to Syria. First, Trump announced his intention to withdraw the U.S. troops from Syria. Then a combination of U.S. military pressure, media pundits and the sudden reappearance of Hillary Clinton more than five months after her presidential election “loss” united to push Trump to launch a one-day bombing of the Syrian Air Force.

This unilateral act of war resulted in almost universal support for Trump from the “Republicrats,” the top corporate Democrats and Republicans, as well as the main media conglomerates. All praised how “presidential” he was acting! (Even so-called progressives such as Bernie Sanders and Noam Chomsky condemned Assad and justified Trump’s war crime.) And Trump’s overt war crime served its purpose; it disrupted and dissolved Trump’s first peace initiative on Syria.

Just about a year later, in April 2018, Trump even more clearly announced his intention to pull U.S. troops out of Syria. Within a day, the big corporate media news story all over the USA was about alleged “poison gas attacks on its own people” by the Syrian regime. Trump immediately reversed himself and joined the British and French imperialist chieftains, May and Macron, launching more than a hundred missiles in an unprovoked attack on Syria. Once again Trump was forced to sabotage his own Syrian “peace initiative.”*

*As I observed at the time, “Macron bragged that, ‘Ten days ago President Trump wanted the United States of America to withdraw from Syria. We convinced him to remain.’” (Ray O’ Light Newsletter #’s 107/108)

-Today the U.S. Empire is still no closer to abandoning its occupation of the oil-rich Middle East-

Other areas, most dramatically Trump’s dealings with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un but also with China’s Xi Jinping as well as Russia’s Putin have underscored Trump’s “surprising” embrace of traditional “enemies of the USA,” as described by Wall Street’s “Republicrat” stooges of both branches of the U.S. War Party. Meanwhile, in Latin America, whereas the Obama Regime had established a thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations while putting maximum pressure on the Maduro Regime in Venezuela and had begun to divide the two progressive countries, Trump has taken a “hard-line” toward Cuba as well as Venezuela.

In the Middle East, despite his efforts at pulling U.S. Troops out of Syria, Trump is more solidly aligned with the settler state of Israel and the reactionary Arab sheikdoms led by Saudi Arabia’s Royal House than even Obama, the Clintons and the Bushes! Accordingly, Trump unilaterally pulled out of the Iranian pact jointly signed with the major European imperialist powers and has been carrying out increasingly belligerent acts against the Iranian regime ever since – a fact that has been a source of division with U.S. imperialism’s closest NATO allies. Finally, in recent weeks, U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis, the last remaining member of Trump’s original core national security leadership, resigned. As the former Marine General observed, “Nations with allies thrive, and those without them wither ... When my concrete solutions and strategic advice, especially keeping faith with our allies, no longer resonated, it was time to resign ...” (Wall Street Journal, 8-31/9-1-2019)

*****

Hillary Clinton as well as Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and the other leading corporate Democrats are reliable representatives of the Wall Street ruling class and its global Empire and are ever ready to launch imperialist war anywhere. These corporate Democrats, along with their mainstream Republican partners in crime, have to keep up a constant drumbeat of war among the U.S populace. While Trump is no enemy of imperialist war, the only empire he is concerned about is the Trump corporate Empire; it does not require constant large-scale wars in every corner of the globe. So Trump’s tweets attacking first one country and its leadership and then another is a constant source of surprise and readjustment for the people of the USA. Thus, Trump is not nearly so effective a “Commander in Chief” for the U.S. Empire as he undermines the capacity of the U.S. military to wage unjust imperialist war everywhere.

For President Trump, both war and peace are commodities to be bought and sold and used as bargaining chips to increase his family’s corporate dynastic wealth. Radical regime change with “nation-building” is not Trump’s preferred method of dealing with adversaries. He’d much rather make a deal with them and uses the “war machine” to create financial deals. (He has already projected the possibility of building Trump hotels on the beaches in North Korea, for example.) So while Trump’s current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton are “hard-liners” cut from the Dick Cheney mold; as such, they are useful in providing Trump leverage for his private corporate deals with North Korea, Russia, China, etc. Likewise, Trump’s militarization of this year’s July Fourth holiday parade in Washington, D.C. at tremendous taxpayer expense and major urban disruption there serves the same Trumpian war and peace commercial agenda; it means very little to Trump beyond the business prospects involved.

Yet all of his statements and actions connected to U.S. Government war and peace and pandering to the U.S. military have serious implications for U.S. society. For example, the militarization of the recent holiday, along with the ongoing U.S. imperialist wars in the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa that Trump inherited from Obama, the Bushes, and the Clintons powerfully influence the youth of the USA to believe that “Might makes Right” and that gun violence is a legitimate way to resolve problems. In addition to the above, the fact that “Trump Inc.” also has private business, as well as political ties to the National Rifle Association (NRA) and to the gun manufacturers and munitions makers, aggravates and intensifies the epidemic of mass shootings in the USA. Within the past few weeks, Dayton, OH and El Paso, TX and now Midland/Odessa TX have been the scenes of new mass shootings reflecting the fact that this almost uniquely U.S. phenomenon is an out of control epidemic of violence.

The main fuel for this epidemic of mass domestic violence is the constant bestial “Republicrat” implementation of imperialist war on behalf of the U.S. Global Empire. Indeed it is no accident that among the current crop of twenty-five or so Democratic Party candidates, only one, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, herself a military veteran, is an opponent of imperialist war. Consequently, to the extent that her connection to the “Republicrats” permits, she is the only one in either branch of the Empire’s war party that has the capacity to expose to the people of the USA the connection between imperialist war abroad and mass public violence at home. Not surprisingly, Congresswoman Gabbard, with measured popular and financial support comparable to Senator Kamala Harris, a corporate Democrat, has now been pushed out of the “exclusive” Democratic candidate debate going forward.

As I concluded in the Spring of 2018, “Clearly, it is not only the Trump Empire, but even more, the Wall Street Empire that is the main source of imperialist war and violence that the people of the world must defeat to make a better world for our children, our families, our communities and our human family everywhere on earth.”

*****

Nevertheless, Trump’s lack of any political goals or principles other than maximum private profit makes him even more dangerous than the Wall Street puppets and puppeteers in several ways. One, Trump’s political and military posturing in the absence of any comprehensive strategic plan other than immediate short term corporate profit opens up all kinds of possibilities for miscalculation both on the part of the Trump Regime and on the part of other major powers, militaries, etc. And miscalculation can easily lead to imperialist war, as it has in the past. Two, whenever Congress and the Courts ultimately pursue the trail of illegal emoluments, bribes, etc. from foreign governments that Trump has been inviting and receiving constantly since the 2016 Presidential election and/or the real ruling class, the Wall Street financial oligarchy, assesses that the Trump presidency has become too costly and unreliable for them and tries to drive his regime out of power, Trump, the tinhorn and would-be fascist dictator, would not hesitate to fabricate a phony crisis, even provoke a world war and declare martial law in the USA, if he thought he might succeed in remaining in charge.

And, connected to all this, is Trump’s poisonous immigrant-bashing, great nation chauvinism and open White Supremacy. Thus, Trump’s bloody hands are most clearly seen in the recent El Paso, TX murders seemingly carried out at his behest.

4. On the Question of Immigrant-bashing, great nation chauvinism and White Supremacy

In time for the 2018 mid-term elections, Trump ordered several thousand U.S. troops to the U.S.-Mexico border and fabricated a “crisis” involving alleged “hordes of Latin American immigrants” “marching on the USA.” The obscene immigrant-bashing campaign that Trump launched then enabled him to avert a much larger 2018 Congressional Republican election defeat. Moreover, as soon as the election was over, Trump sent the troops back where they came from; and there was no exposure by the Democratic Party leadership or the mass media of this dangerous and expensive ploy by the desperate President. Since then, Trump’s brutal treatment of the Latino immigrants at the Mexican border, in blatant violation of international law, has demonstrated what a criminal and rogue state the USA has become.

On a positive note: On June 26, 2019, Wayfair workers in Boston, MA held a one-day strike against their own company in solidarity with migrant families at the border to protest the squalid inhuman conditions migrants are forced to live in there. The workers were also protesting Wayfair Company’s profit-making off of the misery of the migrants. As one striker said, “We don’t want our company to profit off of children being in concentration camps.”

The Wayfair workers strike followed by almost exactly one year the June 30, 2018 protest demonstrations of thousands of people in more than seven hundred cities across the USA in defense of immigrant children and their families. They were protesting the monstrous Trump Regime’s new fascistic ICE policy forcibly separating children from their parents. That demonstration was so powerful that Trump obviously backed off under the popular pressure.

Nevertheless, the current situation at the border reflects the fact that Trump and ICE are maintaining the terrible repression against the new immigrant families. The positive popular reaction especially in June 2018 and also in 2019 needs
to be strengthened. Indeed, under no circumstances can the U.S. citizens abandon solidarity with immigrant families. For at stake is a surrender to white and great nation chauvinism and a capitulation to a rising fascist terror state. The recent El Paso murders are a glimpse of such a nightmarish future for the USA and the world.

The Trump Regime has continued to target Latino immigrant children in particular. In recent weeks Trump began to deport migrant children in the USA who were here to receive treatment for serious illnesses, dealing many of them a death sentence. He is also attempting to rewrite the laws to extend the time period in which migrants, including children, can be held involuntarily. Catching Trump’s vicious spirit, Border Agents have recently been exposed on a closed Facebook page joking about migrants’ terrible conditions at the border.

Another test of the people’s resolve involves Trump’s recent targeting of four freshman congresswomen of color now nicknamed “the Squad.” They include MA’s Ayanna Pressley, MN’s Ilhan Omar, NY’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and MI’s Rashida Tlaib. Congresswoman Tlaib,

in particular, is strongly anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian. 


Dripping with great nation chauvinism and white supremacy as well as his usual mysoginistic attitude toward women, Trump declared that the young congresswomen “should all go back where they came from.” Three of the four were born in the USA! The fourth came here at a young age. All are U.S. citizens. Trump not only disrespected the congresswomen but also the constituents in their respective congressional districts who elected the four women to represent them in Congress. In his attack on “the Squad,” Trump was saying that this is a white man’s country and only white men should be respected!!

On this issue, however, the corporate Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have a “wink, wink” collaboration with Trump in attacking “the Squad.” This is connected to the current campaign to lay the conditions for a corporate Democrat to become the Party’s presidential nominee in the next election as happened in 2016. The Pelosi-Schumer Democratic Party leadership representing the Wall Street ruling class is playing a dangerous and deadly game of its own—feeding Trump’s “white man’s country” poison.

Lest we miss the danger: let’s look at Alt Right leader, Richard Spencer, who on the day after Trump’s July fourth Washington, DC celebration, praised the brutally white chauvinist and anti-semitic Charlottesville, VA demonstrators twenty times. Spencer is using Trump’s “victories” to further his own white nationalist identity politics, which, are too right wing thus far to be acceptable among the European right wing!

Finally, on the question of white supremacy, Trump, unlike his immediate predecessors, does not even give lip service to a desire for “fair treatment” for Afro-American youth at the hands of the country’s police departments. Trump’s stance is to support the police against the Afro-American people no matter how clearly they have been victimized by KKK police “justice.” And Trump’s mass base, representing thirty to forty percent of U.S. voters, is still with him as open supporters of the white supremacist police state.

5. Climate Change: Humanity’s Final Frontier on Mother Earth

On October 6, 2018, “The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius” was approved by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)* In my Commentary on that Report, I observed that, “Stunningly, the IPCC Report projects an even more catastrophic environmental impact of global warming on humanity than previously envisioned by them and the governments that had mutually committed to a set of environmentally conscious goals at the Paris Accords.” (“The Longer Monopoly Capitalism Survives, the more Humanity’s Survival is in Jeopardy!”, Ray O’ Light Newsletter #111, November-December 2018)

*The IPCC, a UN creation, is the leading world body for assessing the science related to climate change, its impacts and potential future risks, and possible response options. Ninety-one scientists from forty countries prepared that first IPCC report by invitation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change when it adopted the 2015 Paris Agreement. It was the first in a series of Special Reports to be produced in the IPCC’s current Assessment Cycle to guide world leaders.

I explained then that, “The basic flaw that makes the scientists’ projections in the IPCC a lullaby instead of a wake-up call is that petty-bourgeois science, in service to monopoly capital ... is criminally silent about and fails to take into account the driving economic force for the monopoly-capitalist dominated political-economic world. This is the incentive for private corporations and banks and financial institutions to carry out their individual selfish corporate goals for profit maximization—and humanity be damned! … No wonder climatologists have consistently underestimated the gravity of the situation.” (Emphasis in original, ROL)

I mentioned that bourgeois U.S. journalists covering that story exposed the opposition of President Trump, the billionaire Koch brothers (through their Americans for Prosperity) and the World Coal Association to the thrust of that IPCC Report, including campaigning against politicians who support a carbon tax. I added that, “Even Senator Elizabeth Warren, the current leading ‘progressive’ Democratic presidential candidate for 2020, remains an unabashed supporter of capitalism. So on this question of life and death for humanity, as on so many other issues, Warren and the Democrats provide no real political alternative to Trump.”

I continued, “And Trump’s USA is not alone in resisting steps to reduce emissions enough to prevent the worst effects of climate change. The other day, Brazil, the world’s seventh largest emitter of greenhouse gas, elected President Jair Bolsonaro, who declared his intention, in line with Trump, to withdraw Brazil from the accord.”

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In the almost two years since that initial IPCC Report, Trump and Bolsonaro have functioned as twin wrecking balls, promoting the most environmentally damaging “economic development” and assaulting the already too modest efforts to salvage Mother Earth as a habitat for humanity.

In Trump’s USA, the President has used the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to tear down regulations to protect the people in order to provide greater profits for the most reckless, dirty and wasteful corporations. He has concentrated much of this destructiveness on rolling back auto industry incentives to convert to non-fossil fuel energy. Recently, Trump’s EPA attacks on the state government of California has elicited this response from California Governor Gavin Newsome: the Trump White House “has abdicated its responsibility to the rest of the world on cutting emissions and fighting global warming.” In other words, the California Governor acknowledges that Trump is indeed leading a rogue government attacking the defense of the earth’s environment as a human habitat!


In this same period, there has been another major IPCC Report, this one just issued in August 2019, on the negative impact of misuse of land in the rapidly deteriorating situation of global climate change. The new report makes it clear that “in addition to eliminating emissions from fossil fuels, deploying clean energy and using energy more efficiently, countries must make changes to what they reap from the ground.”* The IPCC estimates that “making changes to how we use forests, grow crops, and raise livestock could yield upward of 9 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions reductions per year by 2050. Changing diets could yield up to 8 gigatonnes in reductions.”

*Some of the key issues here include: cattle grazing and human beef consumption as well as logging and deforestation.
By the end of August, it seemed as if this new important IPCC Report on the Land had been specifically produced with one place and one government in mind; namely, the Amazon Rain Forest, 60% of which is located in Brazil, and the Brazilian government headed by President Jair Bolsonaro! Already, the Amazon was ablaze with an inferno—a collection of more than

26,000 separate fires. And Bolsonaro, a right-wing militarist and would be fascist who had announced before taking office that, in line with Trump, he planned to withdraw his country from the Paris accord, had at first rejected $22 million in aid to fight the Amazon fires from the G-7 nations — in the name of resisting “colonialism.” In fact, Bolsonaro had initially tried to place the blame for setting the blazes on nongovernmental organizations allegedly trying to discredit him, before having to back off that line in the face of international outrage and domestic protests. Trump, meanwhile, tweeted his support for Bolsonaro’s “great job” in “fighting” the Amazon fires.

In an article, entitled, “Earth’s Lungs Belong to the World,” (8-27-19) Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker observed that, “... Bolsonaro essentially had stoked the fires now sweeping through his chunk of the river basin. He has done so since taking office in January by cutting budgets and staff in governmental environmental enforcement institutions and by promoting development, logging and agricultural expansion.” She explained that, “This [Amazon] rainforest, the largest in the world, is often called the Earth’s “lungs” in part because it absorbs about 2.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually, thus reducing greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.”

Ms. Parker opened with the following: “A question for this moment: If the earth’s lungs were on fire and the doctor refused to treat it, would there be cause for a third-party intervention?” Further on, she goes back again to this question: “What, if anything, should the rest of the world do to save a critical organ in our planet’s body?” In this light, she supports as “reasonable measures” that “civilization demands” the withholding by Germany and Norway of millions of dollars in contributions to the Brazil-run Amazon Fund, which collects money to fight deforestation as well as threats from France and Ireland to pull out of the Mercosur free-trade deal between the European Union and four South American countries, including Brazil. But Ms. Parker, as probably the first U.S. bourgeois journalist to raise environmental “intervention” in Brazil in her syndicated column, is clearly looking further down the road. She speculates that, “as extreme weather incidents increase and other climate change-related conditions worsen, people’s survival sense may demand more direct action and new ways of balancing sovereign interests with global priorities.” In other words, Ms. Parker is raising that the time is coming when national sovereignty may be trumped by the global interests of humanity. She is raising humanity’s urgent need for “environmental internationalism.”

As a bourgeois pundit in the belly of the bloody U.S. Empire, which constantly intervenes in countries all over the world, Kathleen Parker dealt very carefully with the issue of Brazilian sovereignty only. This was especially the case because she did not dare to even mention such prospective global “intervention” in defense of the human habitat in the environmental affairs of the other “rogue government,” headquartered in Washington, D.C.

By contrast, I had already lumped Trump and Bolsonaro together and characterized their projected hostility toward the Paris Accords and global environmental cooperation as that of “rogue governments” in my commentary a year ago.

Hence, I forthrightly raised the question, “Can Rogue States Be Punished by the World Community?” And I answered it as follows: “The U.S. Delegation had joined with more than 180 countries in accepting the report’s summary for policymakers ‘while walking a thin diplomatic line’ given Trump’s intention to lead the USA in withdrawal from the Paris Agreement as soon as possible.” I continued, “this temporary tactical U.S. ‘retreat’ in the face of the IPCC Report reflects the fact that the overwhelming majority of the world’s governments including major powers such as China, the European Union, Russia and India that remain affiliated with the Paris Accord, have tremendous justification/leverage to unite to punish rogue governments such as Trump’s USA and Bolsonaro’s Brazil economically, politically and ultimately militarily, if necessary. For, as the rogue governments accelerate and exacerbate Mother Nature’s wrath coming down on all of global humanity, for the Paris Accord countries, punishing the rogue governments, will constitute self-defense at the most macro level.” (New emphasis, ROL)
I observed the following:

“Unfortunately, global finance capital corrupts all these governments and institutions, including the United Nations. It represents a crippling influence on those concerned or even dedicated to the defense of Mother Earth as a habitat for humanity. These forces certainly include many scientists and technocrats dealing with global climate change, they include some government leaders in oppressed and dependent countries whose peoples will be among the first to be drastically impacted. And they likely include even some capitalist managers and strategists, and even a few financial magnates who see clearly and are moved by the grave situation to which capital has brought humanity. Yet none of these class and national forces has the independence from international capital to lead a successful defense of Mother Earth as a habitat for humanity.

“The one socio-economic class whose very strength is realized through its struggle against international capital is the international working class, the international proletariat. And it is under the leadership of the global proletariat that these other class and national forces can play an important role in saving our earthly habitat and ushering in a socialist world.”

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CONCLUSION: This article discusses some important problematic features of the “current state of the union” under the Trump Regime and the current state of the world in which the USA is still the most violent and most erratic world power. Clearly, the U.S. Empire in Decline Underscores the Urgent Need for A New Communist International.

Workers of the world and oppressed peoples unite!
 

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Do you know who said it??

I would rather my head be severed by the lynchers than to be expelled from the Communist International!”
Hint:  Those readers unfamiliar with the tremendous revolutionary legacy of the Communist International (Comintern) will be surprised to learn that this statement was made in the USA, it was made in public and it was not made in a whisper but in a proud and loud expression of personal conviction. Finally, it was greeted by prolonged public applause by the more than two thousand people in attendance! Such was the prestige and credibility of the Comintern among the class-conscious workers and oppressed Afro-American people in the USA as the Great Depression era of the 1930’s unfolded.

The leader who uttered these words was one of the earliest Afro-American members of the Communist Party of the USA. Moreover, this outstanding leader was known as one of the finest orators the U.S. Communist movement ever produced.


–Still stumped?   See below for the mystery answer.


Richard B. Moore (1893-1978) served in many important positions in the CPUSA and in the mass organizations led by the CP during the 1930’s when it was affiliated with the Communist International. These included the League of Struggle for Negro Rights (LSNR) and the International Labor Defense (ILD). During this period, the CPUSA and these mass organizations  played a positive vanguard role at the head of the upsurge of the U.S. working class and Afro-American people. Among many other things, Richard B. Moore, through the ILD, helped to organize and arouse the world mobilization in defense of the Scottsboro Boys. This case brought international pressure against the barbaric US imperialist lynchings of the Afro-American people. Led by the ILD and the Communist International with which it was linked, these young men were ultimately freed in a major blow against white supremacy.

Comrade Moore and the other pioneer Afro-American communists, as young revolutionary nationalists, had first recognized that the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia was an invaluable ally of the Afro-American liberation struggle. Accordingly, they joined the Communist Party of the USA not in spite of but because it was affiliated with the Communist International led by Lenin and the Bolshevik Party.
—the Editor

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The USA is Overdue for a Do-over
by
Cindy Sheehan 

Since its inception over 243 years ago in a hot meeting room in Philadelphia, dripping with testosterone, the idea of any kind of democracy or equality in the USA has steadily eroded to where, today, those promises are all but non-existent.



First of all, the Founders were indigenous-slaughtering elites. Many of them were human-owning slaveholders.  Together they forged a new society that would, of course, benefit themselves: where the top would stay firmly at the top and the bottom would be conditioned to believe in the American dream of easily attainable wealth and power.



Secondly, there would ultimately be no middle in this corporation called the United States of America—-there would be “lesser-elites” and “greater-poor” to keep everyone fighting with each other over the crumbs that fell from the marble tables of the oligarchy. 



In 2016 when another member of this diseased and demented oligarchy was selected to be the new “leader” of this country, following rules of the constitution that were designed to keep most of us out but get people like him in, many were very surprised.  



Of course, the preference of the imperialists and capitalists was Hillary Clinton. The First Female President™ would have been able to keep the masses as blind as The First Black President™ did. Her Hillaryness would have been very adept at proper decorum and complete sentence construction while she presided over the further transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top and bombed even more brown people in other countries than her predecessor. 



Not that Donald Trump is NOT presiding over these things and worse (not quite separating as many families at the border as Obama was able to and with impunity), but what the regime of Donald Trump has been able to do is stick it right in the faces of the people and has also gotten in some jabs at the system while he has been at it.



What is to be done about these systemic cancers that have spread out of control and threaten the very existence of life on this planet? Should we workers and activists keep on going the way we have been going hoping that the God of America will swoop in at the last minute and cure us? This would be like a heavy-smoker thinking that his lung cancer can be cured by smoking more cigarettes every day!



We recently witnessed an extraordinary event in Puerto Rico, where hundreds of thousands of puertorriqueños took to the
streets of San Juan (and tens of thousands around the world in the diaspora) to demand the resignation of its corrupt governor.

These people in the streets of San Juan were not all far leftwing sovereignty campaigners and socialists, but a wide cross-section of puertorriqueños who have had enough with the corruption of their government and joined together to demand a people’s recall.



Now, that this uprising was successful, it’s the job of those leftwing sovereignty campaigners and socialists to lead these ordinary people into a funnel that will also demand an end to U.S. colonialism there. Only when Puerto Rico is free from the blood-stained boot of U.S. colonialism/imperialism will the people of the long-misused island be able to take matters into their own hands for the good of this generation and the future!



I do not demand the impeachment of Donald Trump, because that would only give us the rightwing extremist Pence and I don’t have any confidence in the dimwitted and complicit Democrat party to even affect that reformist change, anyway. 



To save the planet from the devastating effects of climate change, war and economic destruction, it’s time for a People’s Do-Over of the United States of America.

Do Trump and Pence have to go? Of course, but so does Nancy Pelosi and her ilk. U.S. imperialism must be put on notice that its wealth and resources will be redistributed to the people of the U.S. for positive programs like healthcare and education. 



The Trump regime has predictably expanded the Obama/Bush/Clinton (etc.) wars and has increased the vicious policy of imposing crippling sanctions on countries that have the audacity to believe that they are sovereign and don’t have to put the interests of the U.S. before their very own.



However, we cannot rely on the same people who got us into this enormous mess to clean it up. Despite the rhetoric of some of them, the current crop of Democrat candidates for President is completely useless for those of us who want a socialist revolution. There’s no hope there. There’s no hope that the top will give up voluntarily the stranglehold on our lives that they have claimed from the beginning. 



We need to join forces, as did those in Puerto Rico in a people’s movement for change. Get Trump-Pence out, but then, we socialists and peace and social justice activists need to funnel that energy into the same movement that is burgeoning in Puerto Rico and elsewhere—the end of oligarchical colonialism here in the USA!



A healthy U.S.A. means a healthier world.

 


***Editor’s Note: While this article by comrade Cindy Sheehan has been slightly edited, we have left the article largely intact. As usual, comrade Sheehan exhibits a unique and positive ability to bring working people together and up against our real enemies. —the editor.
 

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Revolutionary Organization of Labor (ROL), USA is a revolutionary working-class organization that fights for working-class power and the elimination of all human exploitation. Ray O’ Light Newsletter is the regular publication of ROL, USA. We believe, with comrade Lenin, that the working class “... needs the truth and there is nothing so harmful to its cause as plausible, respectable petty bourgeois lies.” In the spirit of Karl Marx who taught that “our theory is not a dogma but a guide to action,” we welcome your comments.
Comradely the Newsletter Staff,
Ray Light, Editor Pat Kelly Carl Pappos, Production Coordinator

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