Flipping the script: Russia, the elections and workers in the U.S.
By Greg Butterfield
Russia has the right to defend itself from the U.S.
Let me repeat that: RUSSIA HAS THE RIGHT TO DEFEND ITSELF FROM THE U.S.
The left needs to break from arguing the merits of the bourgeois-liberal witch-hunt against supposed Russian “election meddling” and clearly assert a different point of view to workers and oppressed peoples in the U.S.
Since 1999, the U.S.-dominated NATO military alliance has expanded four times, adding 13 countries, plus several “candidates” for membership, right up to Russia’s border. These expansions, in direct violation of agreements made with Russia at the time of the USSR’s breakup, have happened under both Democratic and Republican administrations.
The U.S. has been carrying out a proxy war in Ukraine for the last four years on Russia’s doorstep. The U.S. has been carrying out first a proxy war, and now direct intervention, against Russia’s Middle Eastern ally Syria for seven years. These interventions began under the Democratic Obama administration while Hillary Clinton and John Kerry were Secretaries of State. They continue and expand under the Republican/alt-Right Trump administration.
Russia has every right and duty to its own sovereignty and its allies to exploit every contradiction of U.S. imperialism to defend itself. If in fact Russia tried to “influence” the 2016 presidential elections by exposing inconvenient facts about Hillary Clinton and her team, they had every right to do so and actually did a service to the people of the U.S.
We should never fail to point out the history of U.S. political, economic, and military intervention in the elections of dozens of sovereign nations of the last 125+ years, including Russia, where the U.S. openly bragged about winning the 1996 presidential election for its stooge Boris Yeltsin.
We should point out that Hillary Clinton did not lose the election to Donald Trump because of Russian “meddling.” Hillary Clinton WON the popular vote. The only reason Trump is president is because of the Electoral College system, which was originally set up to protect slavery, and has since been defended by both Republicans and Democrats to protect the capitalist system against any possibility of a meaningful electoral revolt.
The last time the Democrats had a chance to dismantle the Electoral College was in the presidential election of 2000. I remember it very well. That time, Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote against Republican George W. Bush. Bush won the Electoral College vote, quite possibly because of terroristic attacks on Black and senior voters by fascist elements and Cuban contras in Florida. There was mass anger and the election results were thrown into question. This would have been a perfect opportunity to do away with the anti-democratic Electoral College system.
Instead, the Democrats rolled over for eight years of Bush. There was also a smear campaign (albeit of a much lesser sort) against third party candidates for “losing” the Electoral College vote for Gore. The candidates blamed were Ralph Nader of the Green Party and Monica Moorehead of Workers World Party. I recall celebrity radical Michael Moore writing a paean to lesser-evilism at the time entitled “Blame Monica.”
|It’s all one oligarchy and you aren’t part of it.|
No matter what happens with Mueller’s “investigation,” Trump isn’t going anywhere. Wall Street and the Pentagon (both of whom want nothing more than to undermine Russia’s sovereignty) are very happy with him. He’s giving them everything they want.
So what is the witch-hunt really about?
Today, the size of left movements in the U.S. is growing exponentially because of the shift in consciousness. That’s one of the real reasons for the anti-Russia witch-hunt. It is an ideological war on the people, especially the radical youth, to try to scare them back into the camp of the Democratic Party. I don’t believe this tactic will be successful.
The other reason is to prepare the people of the U.S. for new wars through the demonization of Russia. In 1992, the New York Times published excerpts from a leaked Pentagon strategy document for the “post-Cold War” world that outlined U.S. plans to prevent the rise of any possible rivals to its domination of the globe. Central to this plan is breaking up Russia and China into manageable pieces.
Although the two major parties of the U.S. ruling class and their various factions have competing interests, and often argue over which part of the world to target first, they have stayed remarkably loyal to this vision for the past quarter-century, surrounding both Russia and China with hundreds of military bases and working to pick off their allies and surrounding countries to tighten the noose.
The first responsibility of revolutionary workers and youth in the belly of the beast is to fight U.S. intervention everywhere. Since the First World War, the watchword of our movement has been: The defeat of one’s own imperialist country is the lesser evil.
The best way to help defeat U.S. imperialism is to build the struggle of people’s power right here at home to defeat Trump and the system he represent. That means translating these facts and principles into popular language to help workers and youth cut through the morass of lies. That means building a mass struggle against racism and war independent of the Democrats and their election boondoggle. That means defending the right of Russia, the DPRK, Syria, Iran and other countries to defend themselves against U.S. imperialism.