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August, 2006

Editorial:
How we can stop the war against humanity
 
Demonstrating against the Iraq war in Chicago, 2005.
Demonstrating against the Iraq war in Chicago, 2005.
PHOTO/BOB LEE
 

At a time when millions of us live in poverty and millions more are sinking into poverty, the US government is spending billions to prop up Israel and to enforce US domination of the Middle East. It should be clear that the war against Lebanon is part of a global war on the poor. This war is in the interest of the giant corporations that run the US and the world today, and not in the interest of the vast majority of us who must sell our labor power to live.

The American people can put our country on a different course. The question becomes, how to mobilize them to do so?

Some 37 million Americans live in official poverty, but the government poverty line is so low, the actual number of poor is probably twice that high. Thirty-three million Americans live in households that don't have an adequate supply of food. Millions are homeless, and tens of millions have no health insurance. And poverty is growing. As technology replaces labor, jobs are getting harder to find and they pay less and less. Our pensions and benefits are on the chopping block.

Yet we are a wealthy country. Where is the money going? It is going into the coffers of the giant corporations that control the economy and that have effectively become the government. While we are told there is no money to provide jobs, housing or health care, the military-industrial complex that is the foundation of the US economy gets about $400 billion per year from the US government directly, and more indirectly.

The control of oil is key to the control of the economies of the world. For this reason, control of the Middle East is key to controlling the world. Historically, the US has sought to control the Middle East through its support of Israel and through propping up dictatorships in most Middle East countries. Since World War II, Israel has received more direct aid from the US than any other country, a figure totaling nearly $100 billion since 1949, by one estimate. In recent years, US direct aid to Israel has been about $3 billion per year. And one economist argues that, if all the direct and indirect costs are added up, US support of Israel cost the US about $1.6 trillion between 1973 and 2002 alone.

The wealthy few take food out of the mouths of our children to finance their dreams of global conquest and limitless riches. They butcher anyone in their way and threaten to plunge the whole world into war. The threat of a global nuclear catastrophe looms on the horizon. And they will go on getting away with this as long as we let them.

We, the people, can put a stop to this dictatorship of the billionaires. We must stop listening to their lies and start thinking for ourselves. We must organize ourselves around the demands of the poor, because the poor are forced to fight for a new society. Today's poor no longer have a place in the capitalist economy; they have been replaced by technology. They are forced to fight for a cooperative society where everyone's needs are met. By organizing ourselves around their struggle, we guarantee that we will stay on course toward a new world free of poverty and war.


This article originated in the People's Tribune
PO Box 3524, Chicago, IL 60654, 773-486-3551, info@peoplestribune.org.
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